Katie Bradley in Belgium Open 2016

31 January 2016

After a 10 hour, 500 mile journey, Katie competed at her first competition of the year on Saturday in Diest, Belgium.

Being the first competition of 2016, Katie was not yet at her normal fight weight so competed in the next weight division and had a good challenge ahead.

Her first match was against Philippa Hall (AUS). Katie made a slow start and didn’t really get into gear in the first two rounds. Trailing 4-1 at the beginning of the 3rd and final round Katie came out and finally looked like herself, putting the Australian under constant pressure. Initially there were several close head shots and back kicks from Katie which failed to score but half way into the round Katie landed a well-timed back kick to score 3 points and tie the score at 4-4. Katie continued to apply pressure and was unlucky not to take an extensive lead. During the remaining time each player scored a single point and the match was tied and went into a 1.5 minute sudden-death “golden point” round.

The sudden-death round was very cagey, both fighters attempting to take the valuable winning point whilst trying not to give away that point to the other. It came right down to the wire but Katie took the Australian by surprise scoring a 3 point headshot in the very last second of the match to take the win!

Next up for Katie was a quarter-final against Esengul Ozcicek (NED). This match was very much tit-for-tat between Katie and her opponent. There were two occasions where Katie and her coach believed she had clearly kicked Esengul in the face (worth 3 points), which doesn’t automatically score on the electronic scoring system, but unfortunately they were not scored by the judges and the appeals were declined, leading to Katie losing the match and a guaranteed medal opportunity.

Katie commented:

“The day didn’t go as I’d hoped but this was a warm-up competition for me to try some new things and see what I need to work on. Also fighting a weight group higher is always going to be a challenge, but I gave it everything I could. Now its back to training at club and early morning training at the UPSU Sport Centre Gym & squash courts to get down to my normal fight weight and prepare for the BSTF national championships at the end of the month”.

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University Taekwondo star Katie Bradley makes Great Britain team

I’m so pleased to get another chance to represent Great Britain at a major competition and I hope I can put in a good performance and bring home a medal, not just for the country but also for Plymouth.