On Sunday 28 February scholar Katie Bradley represented the University of Plymouth at the 2016 British Student Taekwondo Federation (BSTF) National Championships, at Worcester University.
Having been unwell for the last two weeks of her preparations, and carrying a minor foot injury, Katie was unable to make her normal fight weight of -49kgs and had to move up a weight class and compete in the -53kgs division, increasing the challenge.
First up in the quarterfinals, Katie faced-off against Anna Tolentino of Brunel University. Katie controlled the match from the start, giving away only two bodyshots and scoring numerous headshots and back kicks on her opponent. Early in the second round Katie opened up a 15-2 lead, resulting in the match being stopped for a win for Katie by a 12 point gap.
With an assignment deadline looming on Monday morning, Katie then used the four-hour gap before the semi-finals to work on her mechanical engineering group project,
“It’s a really hard getting everything done. I’m “Project Manager” for my group project so I was really pleased to have some time available at the hotel and during the competition to get some work done,” Katie told us.
Next up in the semi-finals Katie took on Noura Alissa from University College London. Once again Katie completely controlled the match, scoring multiple bodyshots, back kicks and headshots on her opponent, who was unable to match her speed and technical ability. At the end of the first 2 minute round, Katie had opened up a 13-0 lead which once again resulted in the match being stopped for a win for Katie by a 12 point gap.
After a further two and a half hour wait Katie took to the mats for her final against Georgina Ingram from Goldsmiths’ College. With all other levels of the competition finished, the finals were played in front of the whole crowd so no pressure, with her opponent having a great deal of support from her large team and Katie being the sole representative of the University of Plymouth.
Once again Katie controlled the match from the get-go, almost scoring at will with single body shots, back kicks and headshots. Her opponent fought well and gave everything she had but she just didn’t have an answer for Katie, who opened up a 13-1 lead early in the second round. So for the third time in the day, the match was stopped for a win for Katie by a 12 point gap.
Katie received a well deserved Gold, as the 2016 BSTF National Champion.
As this competition has been nominated as selection criteria event by British Taekwondo for the European Student Games which takes place in Croatia in July, Katie has earned herself the possibility of selection for the team to attend the Games and once again represent the university.
“I’m so happy to have won the title for myself and as a representative of Plymouth University- as Taekwondo isn’t currently part of BUCS I don’t have many opportunities to compete for the university. I really have to thank them for their support through the Sporting Excellence Scholarship program and the Student Union (UPSU) facilities I have access to for my preparations. I also have to thank local business Ki Martial Arts for their support in providing my new Tusah competition kit – good quality uniforms and kit are really important”
Later this week, by special invitation, Katie will travel to the National Olympic Taekwondo Academy in Manchester for two days training and test matches with the full-time senior team athletes; a great opportunity to work with them and that national team coaches and support staff.
Next up for Katie is the G1 Dutch Open International – a ranking event – in Eindhoven on 11th March, followed by Belgian Open, Presidents Cup, German Open and Berlin Open.