41st EKF Junior & Cadet Championships & -21 Cup, Lisbon, Portugal - 7-9 Feb 2014
No Medal for Aimee, out in 2nd Round
Well it wasn't the result Aimee Sell had worked so hard for, out in the
2nd round of the U21 years Female Kata event. After securing a bronze medal
three months earlier in the World Junior Championships in the same category,
only losing to Japan on route to her medal, she was right up there as one of
the pre-tournament favourites and seemingly on course to continue her
fantastic run in the Junior European Championships. Having competed in three
previous European Junior Championships, Aimee had amassed four medals, one
bronze and three silver gaining a medal in each of her outings. This year,
it wasn't to be.
Aimee had a good building up and pre-train to these championships, she was on good form, looking sharp and injury free for once. Everything was in place for her to have another good outing.
Aimee had flown out with the rest of the England squad on Monday, four days before the start of the competition. This allowed Aimee and the squad plenty of time to finalise their preparations in pre-training before the Friday competition start. The draws were released on Thursday evening and Aimee was quietly confident with her draw, she had planned to Kata's and was confident putting on a great display.
Friday was the start of the championships
with Aimee in action first in the Female U21 yrs Kata category. Aimee had
arrived at the stadium early and her warm-up had gone well and to plan. She
had received a bye for her 1st round and was due to face Serena Bonuccelli
After the initial opening rounds from the other competitors had been completed, Aimee was finally in action on the center mat in the 2nd round. Aimee was drawn red to perform her Kata first. Aimee chose to perform Annan. She performed this with speed and power with amazing technical ability. An excellent performance to put her opponent under pressure. Her Italian opponent had chosen to perform one of Shito-Ryu's hardest Kata's against her, Chatanyara Kushanku.
Once completed both girls lined up on the edge of the mat waiting for the flag decision. Aimee had said she was very confident and planning her next round when the flags went up , 2 red – 3 blue. A gasp in the audience and disbelief from the England squad as Aimee had just been knocked out. As Aimee stood there, motionless, a moment or too longer than she would normally, you could sense the shear frustration she was feeling. She knew she shouldn't have lost, she knew her opponent wouldn't make the final and she knew she wouldn't even have repÍchage. And her frustration was justified as her Italian opponent duly went out in the next round.
It's hard to imagine the emotions athletes go through, the highs and the lows in both training and competing but everyone could image what Aimee was going through at that moment. To execute a superb Kata, make no mistakes, technically excellent, amazing speed and power, and to loose... If she had made a mistake then she would have put her hands up, simply shrugged her shoulders and moved on, but a flawless display didn't really justify the decision. Well, it wasn't to be this time, for whatever reason, no medal this time.
Aimee had already medalled at the Worlds in the U21 yrs Kata event so had already medalled at every level, Cadet, Junior and U21yrs, but success brings more success and Aimee didn't (doesn't) want to rest on her laurels and is always pushing to win more and perform better. She will take this knock-back and push even harder now.
Aimee had to settle back down into the squad in the afternoon to support the rest of the England squad who were competing on Friday. The next day Aimee was back supporting her team mates from the stands encouraging them as much as possible. Her room mate, Kate was competing on Sunday and Aimee encouraged and supported her as much as possible. Kate went on to gain a Kumite bronze medal which boosted the squad and Aimee on the final day of competition.
Although Aimee didn't medal, she said it was one of the best trips she's been on with the whole squad, both Kata and Kumite coming together and really bonding well.
Disappointment behind her, Aimee is now
focused on training for the Team Kata event at the Senior European
Championships in Finland in May.