Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport -

Leilani Gabrielli con­tin­ued her im­pres­sive year win­ning two sil­vers in kata and ku­mite in the Na­tional Sho­tokan Karate Cham­pi­onships at Craw­ley on Satur­day. The 12-year-old was one of seven South East Sho­tokan Karate Academy stu­dents tak­ing part, com­pet­ing in a strong field and per­form­ing with a tena­cious dis­play of strength and con­trol. Leilani’s lat­est suc­cess fol­lowed dou­ble golds in both 10-12 age cat­e­gories at the re­gional Gima ha Sho­tokan Karate tour­na­ment, as well as bronze in the 14-17 Kata. She also rep­re­sented Eng­land at the Euro­pean JKA Cham­pi­onships in Ser­bia last May, where she fin­ished in the topeight of her age group. More than 300 com­peti­tors took part in the event at the K2 Arena, with four of the other six SESKA stu­dents ap­pear­ing for the first time at this level. Leilani’s younger sis­ter, seven year-old Elena and nine-year-old Ava Thomas marked their na­tional de­but by win­ning bronze medals in the Ku­mite, with the lat­ter miss­ing out on qual­i­fy­ing to com­pete for sil­ver and gold by the nar­row­est of mar­gins. Jack Wil­liam (12) and nine-year-old Leo Gabrielli, both per­formed well in their re­spec­tive age cat­e­gories of the boys’ in­di­vid­ual kata and ku­mite (spar­ring), show­ing great spirit and style. Two other debu­tants, seven-year-old Sim­ran Khaira and Zuzanna Kra­sowska, aged eight, per­formed well in the Kyu grades cat­e­gory. All the young­sters won praise for their achieve­ments from SESKA founder and se­nior in­struc­tor sen­sei Ge­off Luker.

Leilani Gabrielli with her medals and cer­tifi­cate

Ava Thomas, left, and Elena Gabrielli

John Hyde, He­len Easter and Ralph John­son cel­e­brate their vic­tory in the Kent Cham­pi­onship

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