10:30 a.m., May 21)
Hamlet miss wins pair of gold medals at national karate championships
By Fred Sherwin
Amanda Bentley-Desousa from Blackburn Hamlet holds up the two gold medals she
won at the WKA Canadian Sport Karate Championships in Gatineau on the weekend.
Bentley-Desousa may be small in stature, but she has the heart of a lion as evident
by the two gold medals she won at the WKA Canadian Sport Karate Championships
at the Palais des Congres in Gatineau on the weekend despite having a bum knee
she aggravated while pursuing her other athletic passion rugby.
being just 4-feet-11 inches tall and weighing only 95 lbs, the 14-year-old Grade
9 student is a scrum half on Colonel By's varsity girls rugby team. The constant
pounding her body takes during practice and the games has aggravated an old knee
injury. The rugby schedule has also limited her time in the gym at the Elite Martial
Arts and Fitness Centre on Trim Road.
the minimal time she was able to spend sparring in the gym, Bentley-Desousa was
more than able to hold her own in the points fighting competition for girls 13-17
years of age on the weekend.
Saturday's preliminary round, she won all four of her matches in the -45kg weight
division to give her the maximum number of points heading into Sunday's final
winning her first match 9-2 on Sunday, she took on her main competition Karolyn
Bedard from Quebec whom she beat twice on Saturday by identical scores of 7-6.
In their third match-up, Bentley-Desousa came out on the losing end of another
one point match, but because of her superior points total over the two days of
competition she was awarded the gold medal.
Amanda Bentley-Desousa performs her kata, or forms routine, during the WKA
Canadian Championships at the Palais Des Congres on Saturday.
The top three competitors in each division will get to represent Canada at the
2007 WKA World Championships in Germany in August. Fred Sherwin/Photo
the day on Sunday, Bentley-Desousa successfully defended her gold medal in the
kata or forms competition, although it wasn't easy either. Unlike the points fighting
competition where there were only three other competitors in her weight division,
there were 16 athletes registered in the 13-to 17-year-old kata event.
Saturday's preliminary round Bentley-Desousa enjoyed a one point lead over her
main competitor Jessica Noden. After Sunday's final round they were tied, which
meant they had to face off against each other in a tiebreaker in front of the
three judges. When it was all said and done Bentley-Desousa was declared the unanimous
very happy. I haven't been able to train that much because of the rugby so to
win two gold medals is great," said Bentley-Desousa who is hoping to improve
on the bronze medal she won in hardstyle forms at last year's world championships
in Spain when she travels to Germany in August.
Rebecca Shaffer is hoping to get back on the podium at the world championships
after winning a gold medal in continuous fighting at the world championships in
Niagara Falls in 2005.
the third straight year Shaffer will be going to the world championships as the
reigning Canadian champion in the junior -63kg weight division. Last year competing
against girls who were two and three years her senior, she failed to make the
medal round. A year old and a year wiser, she's hoping to come back from Germany
with at least a bronze medal.
out the Elite Martial Arts contingent heading to Germany in August will be Helen
Mehdin, who finished second in points fighting in the -50kg weight division, and
Nicolas St. Pierre who placed third in points fighting.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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