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Kick start

Randy Bennett

Kick start

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Barbados’ men made a strong start in their bid to repeat as champions when the Caribbean Karate Championships kicked off at the Barbados Community College (BCC) yesterday.
With captain Corey Greaves, Michael Mercer and Andre Lovell leading the charge, Barbados progressed to the finals of today’s individual men’s kata, individual men’s kumite and the men’s team kumite.
Greaves and Lovell, the joint Most Outstanding karatekas at the 2011 championships in Grenada, along with Mercer, were once again dominant in their respective bouts and art forms.
The trio picked up from where they left off two years ago, which saw them come away with a clean sweep in both the men’s individual kata and kumite events as well as the team events.
They started off on a good note, easily advancing to the finals of the kata, in which participants are asked to perform a detailed, choreographed pattern of movement judged mainly by power, speed and application of technique.
Competing in the kumite, a combat event, Greaves floored St Vincent’s Claude Bascombe with a powerful kick to the midsection.
After initially griping in pain, Bascombe eventually rose, but Greaves ended the contest swiftly after with a quick punch to the chest.
Mercer, however, was pushed to the brink of elimination by Guyana’s Roger Peroune, with the latter winning the first point after delivering a quick punch to Mercer’s midsection.
But a determined Mercer showed his class, first striking his opponent with a powerful kick to even the score before ending the bout with a quick punch to the midsection.
Lovell and Kevin Cox also made it to the finals of this event.
In the team kumite, the Barbados “A” team of Greaves, Mercer and Lovell advanced to the finals after defeating St Vincent B 3-1.5.
Unfortunately, they will meet the Barbados “B” team of Cox, Kyle Fenty and Oliver Browne in today’s semi-finals, after they downed Trinidad and Tobago “B” 2-1.
The Masters also performed creditably, as the pair of Martin King and Winston Mascoll booked their place in the final of the individual men’s kumite, along with the Trinidad and Tobago duo of Thaddeus Tempro and Gregory Placide.
Barbados will also be well represented in the junior divisions, reaching four finals in the boys’ division.
In the Boys’ 8-10 kumite final, Ronaldo Gill will come up against Trinidad and Tobago’s Milton Murray, while Gill’s compatriot Niyim Joseph will fight Guyana’s John Mcgrath for the bronze medal.
It will be an all-Barbadian affair in the Boys’ 11-13 kumite final, with Shemar Forde and Kodie King set to face off.
Kyle Fenty will carry the home side’s hopes in the final of the boys’ 17-19 kumite, where he is set to take on Eric Hing of Guyana.
Despite not being as dominant in the female division, the packed BCC gymnasium still had something to cheer about when hometown girl Shanna Skeete advanced to face Jamaica’s Jelesan Gowle in today’s final of the Girls’ 14-16 kumite.