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Monday, Nov. 20


 

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Tim Tierney

 

 

 


(Posted 8:30 a.m., Nov. 6)
Local dojo returns from WKC world championships with 10 medals

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Elite Martial Arts and Fitness Centre instructor Rebecca Shaffer recently returned from the WKC World Championships with three gold medals. Fred Sherwin/Photo


 

The Elite Martial Arts and Fitness Centre had their best ever showing at the WKC World Championships this past week, winning 10 medals including three gold by 17-year-old veteran Rebecca Shaffer.

Shaffer was competing at the World Karate Council championships for the last time as a junior and wanted to end her junior career on a high note. After eviscerating her two challengers to capture the gold medal in the point fighting event, she took the gold in light contact karate with a unanimous decision over her English opponent. She was then invited to compete for Canada in the ladies team point fighting event..

"It was a real honour. I've never been on the team before and to be selected as one of the five members was really special," said Shaffer during a welcome home reception at the Trim Road dojo Friday night. "Unfortunately, I didn't win my fight, but I did get five points for the team."

Shaffer lost her match in the team competition when her English opponent broke a 5-5 tie in the dying seconds of the final found.

After defeating fellow Canadian Kimberley Turgeon 9-2 in the opening round of the individual point fighting event, Shaffer fought one of the best matches of her career against Amanda Jackson from Northern Ireland in the finals, winning 23-12.

Shaffer plans to continue fighting next year when she will move up to the senior ladies division.

"I'm really excited about moving up and showing some of the women what they've been missing," said Shaffer, who has been competing and winning against older competition in local tournaments for the past year as a way to hone her skills for worlds.

Besides Shaffer, the Elite team had two other members who had competed on the world stage before.

Jesse Munro improved on the bronze medal he won a year ago in the junior men's 13- to 17-year-old age group by winning silver in light contact karate. He lost to Englishman Marcus Lewis in a split decision that had many observers shaking their heads including Elite owner Guy Ouellette.

"I thought Jesse did enough to win the fight, but I wasn't judging it," said Ouellette.

For his part, Munro took it all in stride.

"I don't know it was close. It could have gone either way," said the reigning Canadian champion who is looking forward to returning to next year's World Championships in Savilla, Spain where he will be gunning for the gold medal to complete his set.

Brianna Ouellette is also looking forward to returning the World Championships after having to settle for silver in Chinese-style kata while competing in the 13- to 17-year-old age group for the first time. Last year, she won gold in the 12 and under category in both Chinese and hard style kata.

Four of the Elite team members returned from their first trip to the World Championships with a bronze medal including Marie Pharand who won bronze in the ladies hard style kata event.

Pharand has been working at Elite as a receptionist for the past four years and only started competing a year and a half ago.

"It was an awesome experience to finally be a part of it and not just standing on the sidelines and then to actually win a medal, it was very special," said Pharand who earned her black belt in September.

First-timers Danika Plouffe and Tyler Greer also captured bronze, while Serena Moffatt brought home a silver and bronze medal. Plouffe finished third in points fighting in the -40kg division among 8- to 12-year-olds and Greer captured won a bronze medal in points fighting in the +50kg division. Moffatt won a silver medal in light contact karate and a bronze in point fighting in the -50kg weight class for girls.

The eighth member of the the team, Damian Moffatt, had to withdraw from the tournament after he was accidentally kicked in the groin during the first fight.

Members of the Elite Martial Arts and Fitness Centre on Trim Road won 10 medals at the recent WKC World Championships in Albufeirfa, Portugal. Fred Sherwin/Photo

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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