Ayako at the JKA England Open Championships

A gifted Headington karateka has won a bronze medal after competing in a national competition.

Ayako (L6) competed in the Japan Karate Association England Open Championships, which were held on 30th October in Crawley. Her results were as follows:

Kumite (sparring), Women, 16-18 years: Bronze

Kata, Women, 16-39 years: 4th place

The JKA England Open Championships is very competitive with internationals from a number of other countries taking part in addition to English competitors. In her age group in the Kumite, Ayako narrowly lost to her slightly older team mate from the England squad in the semi-final. It was an amazing result in a category where she was amongst the youngest.

In the Kata, Ayako was up against full-fledged international seniors. When they were down to the final four, Ayako was the only English-based competitor and the only teenager. The other three finalists were experienced, senior internationals from Malta and Germany with the winner being the current senior European champion. In the final, she initially drew for third place, which meant she and the other third place competitor had to go again, and she then lost narrowly, scoring 24.3 against 24.5.

Ayako’s father said: “Her result in the Kata is in my opinion her best competitive result so far and somewhat ahead of what I had expected of her!”

Mr Ryan Demaine, Performance Director at Headington School and Ayako’s Sports Scholar mentor said: “Hearing of Ayako’s performance so early on in the year is fantastic. I’m so pleased to be her mentor this year and will endeavour to provide as much support as I can give as she improves throughout the Sixth Form.”