Karate gold for Barbados
BARBADOS have yet another men’s karate title to add to their belt.
And the overall cup appears to be theirs as well.
Led by captain Corey Greaves’ multi-gold medal performance, the hosts looked well on the way to securing top honours at the Caribbean Karate Championships after dominating the senior men’s division at the Barbados Community College yesterday.
Buoyed by boisterous home crowd support, the Bajan men took a division-best eight medals in the evening session, including the coveted gold medal in the team kumite.
It’s the fifth straight gold-medal performance for Barbados in all men’s team kumite competitions, which include the Central and Caribbean Games.
Once again it was Greaves at the helm as the steadfast captain won the men’s kata before leading his side to victories in the team kata and kumite events.
His only real letdown came in the individual kumite where he was stunned by Trinidadian Dean Avril in the gold medal match. The trio of Greaves, Andre Lovell and Kyle Fenty also had to settle for a silver in the enbu after Trinidad held on for the top spot in that competition.
But Greaves, Lovell and Michael Mikey Mercer more than made up for that previous performance when they upended their southern Caribbean rivals in the team kumite.
“We just never took anything for granted coming into this competition so the men’s title doesn’t come as a surprise,” Greaves said after the victory.
“We started our training about two to three months ahead of this competition so when we had to end up doing five events in succession our fitness level really paid off.”
Fenty made up for the silver medal showing in the enbu when he led a strong Barbados ‘B’ team to victory in the bronze medal match of the team kumite.
Mercer added a bronze in the individual kumite after he was knocked out in a hard-fought encounter against Greaves, while Lovell also finished third in the individual kata.
The men’s title-winning efforts were just the cap to an overall good day for the hosts, who also picked up multiple medals in the 8-10 girls’ and boys’ divisions on the final day.
In the individual kata, hometown girl Asha Stevenson captured the gold medal, while Barbados took the top two spots in the boys’ equivalent behind champion Tyrese Benskin and Gerrad Seal.
Renaldo Gill and Niyim Joseph then had respective silver and bronze medal showings in the boys’ individual kumite before teaming up to deliver the team kata title to Barbados.
And just like they did with the senior men’s competition, the hosts captured the lion’s share of medals in the masters division after winning five of the six events on offer.
So dominant was the performance that Barbados swept the top three positions in the individual kata, with Martin King, Ian Holligan and James Marshall finishing first, second and third respectively.
King suffered a hard-fought loss in the individual kumite gold medal match before returning to lead his men to wins in the team bunkai, team kata and team kumite competitions.
The final medal standings and overall team positions were not available up to Press time.