48th European Senior Championships. Budapest, Hungary - 9-12th May 2013
Karate Girl Aimee Sell made her first appearance in a Senior European Karate Championships competing for England as part of the three-girl Kata team. A particularly young team with Aimee the oldest out of the three team members at Just 17 years of age, with Natalie just turning 17 and Melissa still only 16 years old the team were not intimidated by their older and more experienced counterparts. The trio had made the European Junior Championship final in February becoming England's most successful Kata team in over two decades and it was no surprise they were once again selected to represent England once more.
Aimee flew out to Budapest with her England teammates on Monday, a few days before the championships started which gave them a few days extra preparation and practice. The girls had drilled their Katas as much as possible and were confident going into the second day of the championships where they were competing in their team Kata event on the Friday.
Female Team Kata
The team had been drawn against Belarus in their opening round avoiding some of the big guns like Italy and Spain who were drawn in the other half of the draw. Nonetheless, the Belarusian team proved to be strong opponents, well drilled and strong.
The Belarus team opted to perform Annan Kata, as did England, so it was a straight Annan match-up. Belarus performed their Kata first, they made no mistakes, it was strong with quite long pauses in between the sequences of moves which gave the appearance of being more dramatic. The England girls' Kata was probably more synchronised and flowy that the Belarusians but it didn't seem to come over as strong. It was then down to the judges to vote for which version they liked the best, unfortunately they voted in favour of Belarus leaving the team waiting to see if the Belarusians could make the final leaving England in with a chance of bronze through the repechage rounds. Unfortunately, luck wasn't on their side as Belarus lost out 3-2 to Germany in the semi-final meaning they themselves would be in the bronze medal repechage rounds which, incidentally, they went on to win.
Aimee and her two team mates were a little dejected losing out in their opening round and there's little one can say that could lift their spirits at the time but they did themselves proud. With such a young team they looked comfortable competing at this level and will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
Aimee stayed with the squad for the remainder of the championships watching the finals on the last two days before flying home on the Monday with the England squad. Aimee now has a small Karate break to concentrate on her final college exams before jumping back in with total commitment to Karate.
Well done Aimee and teammates Natalie and Melissa.
Thanks to Melissa and Natalie for use of their photos too.