The fourth IJF Kata World Championships took place recently in Pordenone, Italy, a town situated near Venice and Treviso in Veneto Friuli.
This event was organized by the FIJLKAMA (Italian federation) in collaboration with local clubs: Villanova Sports Center, Tarcento Judo club, the region and the city of Pordenone.
133 pairs from 28 countries took part as all five IJF continents were represented for the first time.
Five world titles were awarded: Nage No Kata (24 pairs), Katame No Kata (24 pairs) and Juno Kata (31 pairs) on the first day; Kime No Kata (24 pairs) and Goshin Jitsu (30 pairs) on the occasion of the second day.
The ranking is established as follows: the participants are divided into two groups; the top three in each group qualify for the finals. After the preliminaries, the scores are reset and another judgment is given to establish the final ranking. After each performance, the points are displayed on a screen so the audience can follow the progress of the classification. Five judges evaluate all phases of ceremonial and technique.
I am pleased to report that in the Ju no Kata section twins Helen and Kathryn Cartwright (BJA Southern Area) put in the performance of a lifetime against stiff opposition including the current World Champions from Japan and the current European Champions from Romania.
Drawn 14th in the preliminary round they put in a solid display and qualified for the final with a third place in the group. Then having been drawn to go first in the finals Helen and Kathryn kept calm and followed with yet another outstanding display and scored 407 marks. They then spent a nerve racking time watching their rivals from Japan, Romania and three pairs from France performed.
The final result was remarkable as Helen and Kathryn tied for third place with a French pair on 407 points. However on count back it was discovered that as the French had one less medium mistake less than the British pair they were awarded the bronze medal leaving Helen and Kathryn in fourth place.
This was indeed a fantastic result for the girls of the BJA Southern Area and remarkable as they achieved the highest ever place of any British competitor in either European or World Kata Championships.
Finally our IJF Kata Judges Tina and Dennis Penfold were in action at the Championships both being selected to Judge the Preliminary rounds and the finals.