GKR Australian Championships 2011
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The 2011 GKR National Championships were held in the regular Sydney venue, the Whitlam Centre, in Campbelltown. The usual formalities of State by State march-in, bow-in and welcoming speeches by Kancho and the Tournament organisers opened the day.
Competition soon commenced in all rings with the Junior kyu grades. Mid morning the older kyu grades took over, along with Veteran and Senior Veteran divisions. Competition was very strong in all divisions, with several divisions spread across two rings to cater for the large numbers. Competition continued throughout the morning and into the afternoon with no stopping of action, with rings rotated out for a break. Early afternoon saw the commencement of the Male and Female Junior Open events, highlighting the future of GKR. Exceptional Kata was followed by fast and furious Kumite bouts in both divisions. The Junior team Kumite events were well fought out with a high standard on display. Mid afternoon saw the Junior and Senior Syncronised Kata events, running across several rings, with the top three teams from each ring making it through to their respective finals. Male and Female Black Belt Divisions followed, with first Kata and then Kumite events taking place. Four matted rings were in operation, two each for male and female divisions, with the finals taking place after the rounds. Excellent Kata were performed by all finalists, with the medalists exceptional. Kumite was of a high standard with both the Male and Female finals being of the expected high standard.
The favourite events of the day were the Male and Female Senior Team Kumite events and as usual they were keenly contested and well supported. New South Wales took out the Male Team event after being 2 all with South Australia and the last bout tied, so had to win it in sudden death. New South Wales also took out the Female Team event, much to the delight of the home crowd. The presentation of the Junior and Senior Open Cups closed the day. All in all, a very well run and supported tournament, and finished at a reasonable hour.
Winners of the Male and Female Open events were:
Winners of the Male and Female Junior Open events were:
A smaller than usual South Australian contingengent of around 25 competitors represented the state exceptionally well, setting a new benchmark. The SA State Team representatives made up 20 of the team and 15 of them came home with a medal in either individual and/or team competition, including 8 National Titles. The non-State Team competitors also did exceptionally well, taking out 3 National Titles and another place, with the other competitors just missing out.
All up South Australian competitors took out 11 National Championships, 5 Runners Up, 4 Third places and several 4th places, events, plus some others making Kata finals but unplaced. A great effort by all South Australians who represented their state proudly. All State Team members, along with several other competitors stayed at the same venue and many going out to Dinner together on the Saturday night after the Tournament. Many travelled home on the Sunday but for others it was "Market Day". A very pleasant time for all. Coaches Sensei Jeremy Thompson and Sensei Shane Bennett very elated at the performance of the team, a just reward for all the hard work throughout the year.
Congratulations to National Champions in Kata: Rhiannon Ralph (S), Margie Hookway (S), Mary Bambacus (S), Kathryn Brink (S), Georgia Hill, Mark Ingle and in Kumite: Daniel Tregenza (S), Zoe Tyler (S), Torsten Hillmer (S), Kathryn Brink (S), Georgia Hill.
Congratulations to the following for making Kata or Kumite finals or finishing in 4th place in finals: Justin Hill, Max Hill,
** (S) denotes State Team member
Huge thankyou to John McDonald for his photos and to all those people who contributed photos and videos and assisted in result collation.