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Purple Dragon team blazes at world championships

| 29/07/2015 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Dante Baptiste (R) receives his grand champion trophy in weapons forms

(CNS): Cayman’s Purple Dragon team has returned home with bags full of medals from the recent Karate World Championships held in Trinidad and Tobago. The 28 Cayman competitors all together earned 23 gold, nine silver and six bronze medals.

In addition to contingents from Cayman and the host country at the 17-18 July event, the more than 600 competitors in the open tournament represented martial arts schools from the United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, Antigua, British Virgin Islands, Canada and Panama.

Cayman’s athletes participated in a variety of events and divisions, most of them entering multiple divisions. The events at a martial arts competition can be separated into two basic categories: combat and artistic. At this competition, the combat events were further separated into the point fighting, continuous fighting and grappling divisions. The artistic events were separated into empty hand forms, weapons forms and self-defence demonstration divisions. At the advanced or black belt level, there were subdivisions for traditional, creative and extreme forms.

Sensei FIoyd Baptiste, who runs the Cayman dojo, said he was proud of all of the young athletes who represented the Cayman Islands “not just for their accomplishments but also for their dedication and perseverance that went into the many months of preparation. I consider them all winners after witnessing the transformation that took place in their character and confidence from the many hours of practice.

“I must also commend the team head coach and choreographer Sensei Atonio for the hard work and sacrifices made to make the team so successful.”

Baptiste spoke of the many advantages for young people who become involved with this sport. “We would truly like to revive the sport and discipline of the martial arts in the Cayman Islands. I believe it is such a positive influence on young minds instilling the virtues of respect, honour and discipline, among others,” he said.

Baptiste thanked the group’s supporters and parents as well as sponsors — Cayman National Bank, title sponsor; the Ministry of Community Affairs, Youth and Sports; Williams2 Realty; Tower; Dart; Sprint; DMS; RBC Royal Bank; and Walkers.

He said Purple Dragon plans to take a team to the Twin Towers Karate Classic Tournament in New York, being held 25-26 September 2015, followed by the championships in Spain taking place early next year.

Below is the breakdown of the Cayman team’s medals:

Sensei Geddes Hislop – Golds in empty hand forms, weapons forms and point sparring in the 45+ male black belt division

Sensei Atonio Thompson Gold in traditional weapons forms in the 18-34 male black belt division

Senpai Euclides Pitta – Gold in self-defence; silvers in creative empty hand forms and creative weapons in the 50+ black belt division

Dante Baptiste – Golds in extreme empty hand forms, extreme weapons forms and creative forms in the 13-17 male black belt division; silver in point sparring. One of the highlights of the competition was the night of champions, where winners of the different categories went up against each other with the judges selecting a grand champion. Dante won this title for weapons forms.

Lance Jefferson Gold in the creative weapons form in the 13-17 male black belt division; second in the night of champions competition.

Dianne Gordon Golds in point sparring and weapons; silver in empty hand kata in the 45+ female advance division

Cathy Williams – Gold in the traditional empty hand form in the black belt division.

Maribel Dadal – Golds in empty hand forms, weapons forms and point sparring; silver in self-defence in the 45+ advance female division

Sherika McTavish – Golds in self-defence and point sparring; silver in empty hand forms; and bronze in weapons forms in the 18-34 advance female division.

Francine Bryce – Golds in point fighting and empty hand forms in the 35-44 advance female division

Isabella Powery – Golds in empty hand forms and self-defence in the 11-12 advance girls division

Aidan Montana – Silver in empty hand forms and bronze in weapons forms in the 9-10 advance boys division

Jade Williams – Bronze in empty hand forms in the 9-10 advance girls division.

Maia Pitta – Golds in empty hand forms and sparring, and silver in self-defence in the 8-9 Intermediate girls division

Erika Scotland – Silver in weapons forms in the 9-10 girls division

Sean Byles – Bronze in point sparring in the 7-8 intermediate boys division, out of 28 competitors

Joshua Bryce – Bronze in empty hand forms in the 7-8 intermediate boys division, out of 28 competitors

Rachel Pascal – Bronze in point sparring in the 9-10 intermediate girls division

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Category: Karate, Sports

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