Brothers Alfie and William Cunningham secure national gold

Alfie Cunningham, left, William Cunningham, centre, and Leonard Smith
Alfie Cunningham, left, William Cunningham, centre, and Leonard Smith
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Havant club members Alfie and William Cunningham made it a golden double in the Japan Karate Association England Nationals.

The rising stars, from Stamshaw, both topped the podium in the kata section (patterns).

He performed bassi-dai in the final to get top marks from the judges and due to his fine karate throughout the day he was awarded best male junior of the whole tournament

Steve Fife

It was a superb overall competition for the Havant club, with Leonard Smith also earning silver and bronze medals.

The K2 arena in Crawley was packed with more than 400 karate students from 40 different clubs in England, with around 500 spectators watching.

William, eight, delivered a great performance to win gold in the seven to nine brown and black belt category.

He was also named best male junior in the entire competition and Havant coach Steve Fife felt the youngster showed why he has been selected for the England squad recently.

He said: ‘William got knocked out of the kumite (sparring) section but bounced back in style to get gold in the kata.

‘He performed bassi-dai in the final to get top marks from the judges and due to his fine karate throughout the day he was awarded best male junior of the whole tournament.

‘William did brilliantly. His karate was top class, that’s why he is in the England team too.’

Alfie, 15, fought well in the kumite to take a bronze medal.

He then won gold in the kata 13-15 brown and black belt section.

Fife added: ‘Alfie went through four hard fights in devastating fashion, seeing off England squad members along the way with great speed and power punching.

‘Finally he went out in the semi-finals against a very strong and aggressive opponent.

‘Alfie then breezed through the kata premiums.

‘In the final, Alfie performed gan-kac-cu, a very high level black belt karate full of kicks and punches and balancing techniques.

‘It was a flawless display. He was awarded top marks to take the national crown again.

‘Alfie was superb throughout the tournament.

‘His fighting is improving every time he goes in the arena. I’m sure he will get a gold medal in the kumite soon.

‘As for his kata, no one can touch him. Alfie is different class, that’s why he is in the England team as well.’

Leonard Smith, 30, from Southsea, made it a hat-trick of medallists for the Havant club.

He enjoyed a successful first competition, picking up a silver medal in the kata and a bronze medal in the kumite in the orange belt category.

‘I’m very pleased for Leonard, it was his first competition,’ added Fife.

‘He was a bit nervous on the day, but came away with two medals – a fine result.

‘Overall it was a great result for Havant karate dojo.’

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