Cambridge University Karate dominate regional competition

Emma Nunn 12 March 2012

On Saturday 3rd March a squad of 16 student and non-student members of the Cambridge University Karate Club travelled to Chesterfield to compete in the ‘Central Region’ of England. The three women on the squad, Women’s Captain Emma Nunn, Tiina Pajuste and Keisha Notice, won the ladies team fighting and came 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively in the ladies over-21 black belt individual kumite.

This feat was mirrored by the Men’s A team of Herve Vandekerchhove, Michele Mestrinaro and Paul Smith who beat the Cambridge B team in the final, and took the top three positions in the men’s over-21 black belt fighting. The B team of Men’s captain Matt Houlden, Matthew Benjamin and Ogi Tripunovic, along with Jerome Singh of the C team, took 1st, 2nd and joint 3rd places in the men’s 18-20 fighting. Finally, Incoming President Spencer Hughes, Outgoing President Nikon Rasumov, and first time competitor Sebastian Mueller took 1st, 2nd, 3rd respectively in the men’s kyu grade kumite.

In the Kata competition, Notice, Pajuste and Nunn took 2nd, 3rd and 4th place in the ladies black belt kata, while Petre Nicolesu, Tripunovic and Houlden took 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the equivalent men’s event. Hughes became grand champion by adding a gold medal for the men’s kyu grade kata to his kumite success. Houlden, Tripunovic and Singh won the team kata event, where the kata is performed in a synchronised fashion by three competitors, meaning CUKC won all three adult team events on the day. Last but not least, the youngest member of the squad, 8-year-old Georgia Poole came 2nd in both the under-12 ippon kumite (one step, as opposed to freestyle sparring) and the girls kata in style, in both events beating competitors much older than herself.

The six Cambridge teams took three gold, one silver and two bronze medals between them. On top of this, between 16 competitors, Cambridge came back with 23 individual medals and, for the third year running, the ‘kumite shield’, awarded to the overall best club in the kumite events.

Emma Nunn