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Continued Success at British Open Championships

NIKW retains top titles at British Open Championships in Glasgow, Scotland

Four international karate championship titles were won by Northern Ireland athletes who demonstrated some fantastic fighting at European tournaments held over two consecutive weekends in September.

Some of Europe’s top fighters took part in the Banzai Cup in Berlin where 1500 competitors gathered on September 20/21, while the Emirates Arena in Glasgow played host to the British International Karate Open on September 27 when over 1100 athletes from 17 countries took part in the event.

Taking on some elite fierce opposition in Berlin, current British 4 Nations title holder James Brunton came up against Norway’s top fighter in the final of the men’s open weight section. Drawing on his repertoire of winning techniques, Brunton took the championship title. Meanwhile, he secured a bronze medal in his own weight division.

The Belfast man’s training schedule means he is at the peak of physical strength, and he was still fighting fit the following weekend, for the next stage of the international circuit in Glasgow. This time 18 countries took part in the tournament, travelling from different parts of the globe, including Brazil, Ghana and Russia to take part in the British International event.

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Making little of his opponents, Brunton secured a place in the final of his own weight division to take his first British Open championship title. He made his way to the finals of the senior men’s open weight section, where he took a second championship title.
Meanwhile, in the male under 18 events, Brunton’s team mate, Craig Ryan, also a British 4 Nations title holder, won a gold in his weight division, and silver in the under 18 open weight category.

President of Karate in Northern Ireland, Oliver Brunton, attributes the young men’s success to a formula of dedicated training, specialised coaching, competition experience and the strength of the sport’s governing body, the Northern Ireland Karate Board. “These elements have all come into play to allow Northern Ireland’s karate atheletes to shine on the international stage,” Oliver acknowledged.

The younger Brunton will be representing Northern Ireland at the sports premier tournament, the World Karate Federation championships in Bremen, Germany in November. “His successes in the run up to this tournament mean he is well placed to perform well in Germany,” Oliver said.