WKF Karate1 Premier League - Almere, Holland - 8-9th March 2014
Top 10 Finish for Aimee in Holland
Aimee Sell travelled out to Almere, Holland to compete in her 2nd WKF Premier League Karate 1 event of the year. Landing at Amsterdam Airport on Friday afternoon she was soon at the hotel after a short 30 minute drive from the airport. Check-in for the competition was taking place at the sport venue, only 5 minutes away, which was relatively smooth and hassle free.
Saturday morning Saw Aimee head to the stadium to initially watch her compatriots compete in the Male Kata events that were taking place first. Aimee's category, Senior Female Kata, was due to commence approximately 11:00am.
There were 80 competitors in the female Kata category, almost 30 more than in Paris for the 1st K1.
Aimee was drawn in pool 3 out of 4 and received a 1st round bye. Aimee was soon in action though in the 2nd round and faced a French opponent, Maelys Jesnnot, who had the benefit of performing an opening 1st round Kata. Her French opponent performed her Kata, Kanku Sho, first with Aimee following. Aimee performed Annan and the decision went 3 flags to 2 in Aimee's favour.
The 3rd round saw Aimee face Sandra Mark, from Switzerland. This time Aimee was red and performed her Kata first choosing to do Suparinpai. Aimee's opponent performed Paiku Kata but all the judges voted for Aimee this time giving her a 5 flags to 0 win.
Now in the 4th round Aimee was up against a tough opponent, Sandra Sanchez, from Spain who came 3rd at the Paris K1 this year. The Spanish competitor performed a rarely seen Papuren Kata with Aimee opting to perform Chatanyara Kushanku. The decision was reversed this time round as Aimee lost out 5 flags to 0.
Sanchez went on to win the pool final and then the semi-final for the showcase end of evening final leaving Aimee in the repechage rounds. A very tough draw in her opening repechage round saw her face Serbia's Marija Madzarevic, a senior World and multiple European bronze medallist. Aimee's Serbian opponent performed Unsu with Aimee following with Nipaipo Kata. A 3 flags to 2 split decision went against Aimee leaving her opponent to power on to the bronze medal. A close call with Aimee only losing out to two of the medallists.
As usual these competitions are tough and provide a great opportunity for Aimee to compete against and watch the best in the world of Karate. So although no medal, Aimee completed 4 Katas finishing in 9th place overall.
Aimee was going to compete at the K1 World Cup in Slovenia next week but she has a rare opportunity to compete with her England Female Kata Team friends, and the K1 World Cup doesn't support Team Kata, instead hosting Team Kumite. So Aimee opted to miss the World Cup and compete with them at the prestigious Swedish Kata Trophy, probably the largest Kata only tournament in Europe which is hosted by Sensei Yoshimi Inoue 8 Dan JKF, coach to World Champions Antonio Diaz and Rika Usami. Sensei Inoue is then holding a course the following day, so another big weekend in store for Aimee and her teammates.