WKF Karate1 Premier League - Paris - 14-15th January 2012
Leaving London - The Olympic rings at St Pancras Station
Aimee lining up with Senior Female Kata competitors
Aimee outside hotel
Well the first of the six Karate1 Premier League events took place in the famous Pierre de Coubertin Stadium in Paris, France. The championships, which had over 800 competitors from 65 countries for a senior only event, was held over the weekend of 14-15th January 2012.
The Premier League event is massive, it's like an open world championships, except instead of the best competitor from WKF member countries, here you get the top three or four! For that very reason, this could be considered even harder than the European or World Championships.
Karate girl Aimee Sell travelled down to Paris on Friday to compete in the Female Senior Kata event being run the following day on Saturday.
Travelling on Eurostar to Paris on The Friday was the easy bit, the Paris metro at rush hour not so easy, up, down, left then right, 3 seconds to get through the doors!!!! Finally arrived at the HQ hotel and everyone went to check in. Due to the sheer numbers entering it took nearly 3 hours just to register.
There was an early start the next day but fortunately the hotel was only a 5 minute walk away to the venue.
There were 80 competitors in the female Kata category and the amount of Continental Champions, World Champions and medallists from their respective championships was phenomenal. It's not just the best person from each country, but, in some cases the top 4 per event. A real All Stars Championships.
After arriving at the venue Aimee went to change and warm up. Originally it was to be men's Kata first with the females competing around 11am. This unfortunately was changed and the female pools 1 and 2 were told to get ready and bow in straight away.
Although Aimee was in pool 2 of the female Kata event, she was competing on the same mat as pool 1 as the organisers chose to run these two pools together. Aimee received a 1st round bye which put her through to round 2. The 2nd round pitted Aimee against Mexico's Gabriela Domingues, the 2011 Panamerican senior bronze medallist. Aimee performed Bassai-Dai against her opponents Seienchin Kata but a close 3-2 decision went against Aimee. Domingues made the pool final but lost out to France denying Aimee a repechage place and ending her medal chances.
This was a really tough competition, at 16 years of age Aimee wasn't expecting to win, but securing 2 flags from the Panamerican medallist was a good start for her first appearance in the Karate Premier League event. This was a great opportunity for Aimee to compete against and watch the best in the world of Karate.