WKF Karate1 Premier League - Salzsburg, Austria - 11/12th October 2014
5th Place for Aimee in Austria
So close yet so far for Karate Girl Aimee Sell competing in Austria at this years final Karate1 Premier League tournament. Aimee narrowly missed out on making the final by one flag losing 3 flags to 2 in the semi-final after winning her pool.
She flew on to Salzburg on Friday morning, but having a stopover meant she arrived mid afternoon. It was then straight to the busy registration from the airport to complete her check-in for the tournament. Registration finally done and off to the hotel/guest house to unpack, unwind and enjoy a nice evening meal.
The next day was an early start, taking the short cab ride to the sports venue and arriving at 8:00am for the opening line-up.
Individual Female Kata
With almost 70 registered competitors in the Female Kata category, the category was split into pools with Aimee being drawn in the third pool of four.
Aimee's 1st round was against Tanya Baezer from the USA. Aimee drawn red performed her Kata first, a solid Annan Kata with her American opponent performing Papporen next. Good start for Aimee winning the match 4 flags to 1.
Red again for the 2nd round as Aimee performed a strong Paiku Kata with Germany's Martina Resch performing Annan. Another good result for Aimee this time winning 5 flags to 0.
The 3rd round saw Aimee red once more and chosing to perform Suparinpai whilst her Ukrainian opponent, Anna Kreshencko, followed performing Nipaipo. Once again for Aimee it was a clean sweep of flags winning 5-0.
Round 4 was the pool final, this to meet the winner of pool 4. Aimee this time was blue having the opportunity to watch her Peruvian opponent, Sol-Maria Romani, perform her Kata first, which was a good strong Unsu. Aimee up next performed an equally strong Chatanyara Kushanku and won a close match 3 flags to 2.
The two pool finalist from pools 3 and 4 then faced each other in the 5th round semi-final, Aimee red against Marija Madzarevic from Serbia, blue. Aimee performed a clean and sharp Nipaipo Kata with her Serbian opponent performing a sharp Kanku Sho. A very close call once again but this time the decision went against Aimee 3 flags to 2. Aimee had just missed out on a place in the final by one solitary flag. Really unlucky.
So as Aimee was beaten by the finalist in the semi-final match, she was straight into the repechage final contesting the bronze medal against Saida Salcedo from Peru. Aimee's opponent performed Unsu with Aimee responding with Unshu. Agonisingly close but a 3-2 split decision once again going against Aimee. Although her Kata was executed with great precision, speed and power, 3 of the judges opted to vote for the Shotokan version. So 6 rounds completed and a 5th place finish for Aimee missing out by the smallest of margins.
This was Aimee's fourth competition in as many weeks, Banzai Cup in Berlin, German Karate1 in Hanau, the France v England International in Paris and now Salzburg for the Austrian Karate1, all preparation for the World Karate Championships in November. The road to Bremen has been quite intensive for Aimee, and quite expensive too, but the struggle to keep improving and compete against the best, to be the best, is a sacrifice all top athletes face. Aimee now has a few weeks to work on her techniques and fine tune her performances following feedback and analysis from the last four weeks in preparation for Bremen.