Gareth’s Italian Job goes well

TWO schoolboy karate experts were on an Italian Job over the weekend. Gareth Hains of Sandy Upper School competed at the Italian Open and Venice Cup in Italy for his club Kaizen Central. He travelled with team-mate and fellow local boy Jordan Aisbett. The

TWO schoolboy karate experts were on an Italian Job over the weekend.

Gareth Hains of Sandy Upper School competed at the Italian Open and Venice Cup in Italy for his club Kaizen Central.

He travelled with team-mate and fellow local boy Jordan Aisbett.

The two-day event opened with the men's team kumite.

Both joined other English competitors in the team kumite to make a select team and were unlucky to draw the German national team in the first round.

Jordan was selected as reserve and Gareth fought fourth.

Most Read

When Gareth took to the mat, the team were already a draw and two losses down and defeat for him would have meant an early exit.

Fighting the current German national champion, Gareth - who recently won the British title in Sheffield - started well.

Gareth took a commanding lead and everything he tried came off, ending with a 7-0 win.

But the team's last fighter lost and so the team was eliminated.

The Germans went on to win the event and so the team fought off in the repacharge for the bronze where they lost after a draw for Gareth and a loss for Jordan.

Kata started the individual event and saw both Gareth and Jordan in the same section.

Jordan exited in the first round uncharacteristically as this is usually his strongest round.

Gareth made it through to the semis where he beat his clubmate to make his first senior kata finals.

With Jordan's first round opponent getting there too, it meant that he now was back in fighting for the bronze which he won.

Gareth performed excellently in the final and won it 5-0 to become European Grand Prix winner and Italian Open champion.

The only downside was that due to miscommunication Gareth had already left the building before he was invited to play-off for the grand championship title.

But he was still awarded second place and so also became European vice grand champion.

In the fighting the next day, both boys found it difficult to get back to these high standards.

Jordan made it into the third round and after an early loss against his opponent of the day before, who won the event, Gareth fought well in the repacharge only losing a chance to fight for a bronze after a tough fight and then sudden death.