Swedish Karate Open - 23rd March 2013
Double Gold for Aimee
Karate Girl Aimee Sell returned to Sweden on Friday 22nd March 2013 for the second part of her Nordic adventures. Last week she competed in the Swedish Kata Trophy tournament which was followed by the two-World Champions Kata Seminar being hosted by Antonio Diaz and Rika Usami all being held in Stockholm. This time round Aimee was competing in the Swedish Karate Open being held in Malmo.
This was more of a whistle-stop visit, just Friday night with a late night return flight on Saturday as she had to return home for the England National Squad selections being held in the Midlands the next day. It was a draining schedule with a very early Friday morning flight, the next day competing in no less than 10 rounds of Kata, not retuning home until 1:30am the next day and having to get up at 6:00am for the 2.5 hour drive to the Midlands for even more Kata. But she didn't flake, her high level of fitness carrying her through as she kept going seeming unfazed by the hectic fortnight she put herself through.
Aimee had competed in this competition the year before so was on familiar territory with what to expect and having competed against many of her pending opponents the week before, was more than ready to compete.
Female Junior 16-17yrs Kata
Aimee was drawn 1st in the starting draws in both the Junior and Senior categories so every round Aimee would have to perform her Katas first.
In the 1st round Aimee faced Sweden's Izabella Tran who she competed against just one week earlier in Stockholm. Aimee performed Nipaipo with Izabella performing a sharp Bassai-Dai. The judges all voted 5-0 in Aimee's favour on this occasion.
The 2nd round saw Aimee face Sweden's Julia Pham who had also competed last week in Stockholm. Aimee performed Unshu Kata with Julia performing Annan. This time 1 flag went against Aimee but she won the round 4 flags to 1.
In the 3rd round Aimee chose to perform Annan with her Danish opponent, Maja Lytje, performing Bassai-Dai. It was back to a 5-0 win for Aimee as she progressed to the next round.
The 4th round semi-final saw Aimee face her Danish friend, Rikke Linck. Rikke hadn't competed in Stockholm so this was also an opportunity for the pair to catch up with each other, however, for the next few minutes it was down to business as both prepared to compete. Aimee performed her Kata Suparinpei with Rikke performing Unshu Kata. Aimee went through to the final with a 5-0 win whilst Rikke went into the repechage final where she performed well winning the Bronze medal. Well done Rikke.
The 5th round final saw Aimee face Denmark's Sofie Kampmann who had progressed though her side of the draw performing Shotokan Katas. Aimee up first as usual performed one of Shito-Ryu's longest and hardest Kata Chatanyara Kushanku and Sophie replied with her performance of Gojushiho Dai. The judges all voted in Aimee's favour as Aimee retained her Swedish Open Junior title with a 5-0 win. That put Aimee on the top spot of the podium in her Kaze Rebel Gi with the silver and both bronze medallist all in Kaze Gi's too. A full Kaze podium!
Female Senior Kata
Next up was the Senior Kata category. Last year Aimee had claimed a hard earned bronze medal in this category losing to Danish senior Anne Sofie Sörensen so this year Aimee was on a mission for revenge. The draws were good, Aimee in one half with Anne in the other so they could meet in the final.
Aimee’s 1st round was against Sweden’s Mathilda Karlsson. Aimee performed Nipaipo Kata with her opponent performing Kanko-Dai. All judges voted Aimee’s way giving her a 5 flags to 0 win.
The 2nd round saw Aimee face Caroline Dalgård from Denmark who Aimee had competed against the week before at the Swedish Kata Trophy competition. Aimee chose to perform Unshu Kata against her once again with Caroline choosing to perform Nipaipo Kata this time round. It was the same result though with Aimee taking the win 5 flags to 0.
Aimee faced Sweden’s Elin Ernekrans in the 3rd round. Aimee had competed against Elin at the European Junior Karate Championships last month as Elin had represented Sweden in the Junior Kata category which makes Elin an experienced tough competitor. Both girls opted to perform the same Kata as they had done back in Konya at the Europeans. Back then it was a Nipaipo showdown, this time Annan was their chosen Kata. Once again Aimee won the showdown 5 flags to 0 to progress to the next round.
The 4th round semi-final pitted Aimee against Denmark’s Cecilie Bjerring who had recently claimed 5th spot in the WKF Senior World Karate Championships in Paris. Another tough round for Aimee with both girls opting to perform the same Kata, Suparinpei. Both performed their Kata well but Aimee got the votes winning 5-0 once more to make the final.
For Aimee the final was ideal as she finally got to face Denmark’s Anne Sofie Gehl Sörensen. Anne is a very experienced and strong competitor and has been Denmark’s top senior female for a number of years so this was going to be a real test for Aimee. Like the two previous rounds both girls had chosen to perform the same Kata against each other. This time it was a Chatanyara Kushanku showdown between them. Aimee performed her Kata first with Anne following. This time Aimee got her revenge as the judges votes 4 flags to 1 in Aimee’s favour making her the Senior Female Kata champion and securing Aimee’s second Swedish Open gold.
Aimee performed some excellent Katas and looked in good form throughout the competition thoroughly deserving both titles.
Aimee was soon back at the airport to catch her late night return flight home so she could travel to Walsall the next morning for England Squad training and selections for forthcoming WKF World Junior Karate Championships. No rest for some.
Photo Gallery - Photos courtesy of Jess Tran