Stellar performance from Brentford at the UKITF English Championships

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Stoke-on-Trent produced a stellar performance from a 10 strong team, with 4 juniors experiencing their first national competition. Special mention to Sumayah Al Johani who still remains unbeaten, great performance by Umbreen beating her opponent convincingly and cementing her place as the best UKITF at -50kg. Nurudin stamped his return in a hard fought battle, eventually taming his opponent with his superb agility and well placed shots. James also put on a mature performance against a rough tough opponent, a close decision against James but a rematch would surely settle the score. Jamie, Ghazi, Hashem and Dilan all gained lots of competition lessons and all showed fighting spirit. Moataz fought great in his final showing his club mates how to win a fight and use the square wisely, well done Moataz.

The UKITF English Championships were held on the 15th February at the Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke-on-Trent. The 14th February saw 10 members of Brentford TKD battle the elements travelling up to Stoke-on-Trent in what was the worst weather seen this year. Competing for Brentford across senior, adult, junior and cadet divisions were Danny Welland, Nurudin Jackson, Umbreen Khan, James Adetutu, Jamie McCarthy, Dilan Mertikanov, Ghazi Al-Johani, Moataz Al-Johani, Sumayah Al-Johani and Hashem Al-Johani. The later than usual meet up time meant competitors were on the road by 5pm to make the weigh-in scheduled for 6-8pm at the Holiday Inn Express next to Stoke Football Stadium. The weather did little to deter the competitors and although held up by traffic incidents along the way, the 6 members weighing in on Friday seemed to have judged the time just right. Once the traffic had cleared, the car had time for a quick stop at services before safely making it to the weigh-in with 10 minutes to spare. Once the 6 members had weighed in, it was time to dump the bags in the rooms and go to find a place to eat. After hearing of the hours wait at Harvester, the team decided to jump back in the car and head further down the road. The hotel receptionists recommended The Hungry Horse and after figuring out what the receptionist was saying, writing down some sort of directions, travelling the wrong way down a one way road and Danny’s glasses falling apart, the team wound up at a decent eating venue.

The booths had small tvs fitted in them and Battle Los Angeles was the programme of choice. Challenge meals have become somewhat of a tradition following weigh-in evenings and this evening proved no different with James and Jamie battling it out trying to finish 5x12oz burger meals, Dilan with his slider meal, Danny sticking to a simple 2 x regular meals and Nurudin and Umbreen opting for breaded scampi, mushy peas and chips. The meals went down a treat and Dilan challenged himself to a challenge dessert. Fair to say he did well but did not finish it. Fully fed and ready to crash for the night, the team all made their way back to the Holiday Inn to their rooms to get some rest before meeting up with the rest of team Brentford on Saturday morning. The team staying at the Holiday Inn took advantage of the buffet breakfast and fuelled up for the day ahead then made their way 15mins away by car to the Fenton Manor Sports Complex. The hall was matted out with 6 rings and a viewing area on one side of the hall. Once the officials meeting was over and accreditation handed out, the juniors were height/weight checked and the competition began.

As Kids Kickers and Seniors were competing in the morning, Sumayah and Hashem competed early on with patterns first. Sumayah won her first two rounds in a large kids division and won a bronze medal. Hashem showed good perseverance as he completed Chon Ji but unfortunately did not win a medal this time around. Kids Kickers sparring was also a large division and Sumayah showed a lot of potential and displayed a high work rate in her sparring leading her to top the welterweight category and winning gold with a number of jump punches. This was just the beginning of the gold medal haul for Sumayah as she also went on to win kids flying technique. Hashem had a tough test in sparring but came away with a bronze medal. In the senior division, Danny did well to remember most of the pattern that he only recently learnt but unfortunately did not finish and came away with a silver medal. As the hall started to warm up, the tournament swiftly progressed onto sparring. Danny came up against a tough opponent in his first fight but quickly felt at home in the ring after a while out of sparring due to injury and pulled back points after a cautious start to win the fight. In his next fight he came up against friend and follow competitor at middleweight but Danny was now in his element and there was no stopping him. He went on to top his category achieving a gold medal. The gold medals had just begun for instructor Danny as he went on to win special technique and power. Nurudin came in second in special technique and also had an impressive return to the sparring scene after a couple of years out of competition. Nurudin chased down his opponent in sparring to win gold in the heavyweight division after coming back in the second round after being down on points in the first.

In the junior divisions, Moataz picked up a gold medal in an impressive performance showing his improvement in sparring since his last competition. Ghazi also put up a good performance and showed a lot of determination as he pressured the opponent as he refused to go backwards but the opponent just had more ring experience and Ghazi came away with a silver medal which he should be proud of.  Ghazi also done well in patterns to pick up a silver medal. Dilan had a tough fight at middleweight and came away with a second place silver medal and more ring experience at a major competition. Jamie had a tough fight in the mens hyperweight division and gained a silver medal. In patterns, Jamie also picked up a bronze medal to add to his collection. Later on in the day Umbreen was up for microweight sparring and managed to win both rounds of the 2 round final where she added a gold medal to a gold picked up for patterns earlier against the same opponent. James, fighting in his second tournament as an adult had an explosive fight and came away with an unfortunate decision but gained more experience and a bronze medal. As this was a ranking tournament, degree students Nurudin and Umbreen and instructor Danny have all been seeded number one in the UK in their respective sparring categories, Danny has also been seeded number one in special technique and power and Umbreen number one in patterns and all 3 have been selected to attend squad training with the UK national squad leading up to the world championships in Rome in July. The club totalled an amazing 22 medals across all divisions in a high quality event and all competitors should be proud of themselves. After a long day of competing, the team headed back to London for a well deserved rest on Saturday night and as always stopped off for a healthy meal en route to London. Well done to all competitors and a big thank you to those who travelled down to support.

Full Results are on

Club results are as follows:

Danny Welland – Sparring (Gold), Patterns (Silver), Power (Gold), Special Technique (Gold)

Nurudin Jackson – Sparring (Gold) , Special Technique (Silver)

Umbreen Khan – Sparring (Gold), Patterns (Gold)

James Adetutu- Sparring (Bronze)

Jamie McCarthy- Sparring (Silver) , Patterns (Bronze)

Dilan Mertikanov- Sparring (Silver), Patterns (Gold), Special Technique (Gold)

Ghazi Al Johani – Sparring (Silver) Patterns (Silver)

Moataz Al Johani- Sparring (Gold), Patterns (Bronze)

Sumayah Al Johani- Sparring (Gold), Patterns (Bronze), Flying Technique (Gold)

Hashem Al Johani – Sparring (Bronze)