The 10-member Indian contingent made it home from European IKA Gosoku-ryu Karate Championship with slightly heavier bags and bigger smiles.
The participants from Thane, Navi Mumbai and Mumbai clinched nine medals in the tournament held at Warsaw, Poland, on March 20. They are all students of Dombivli-based International Gosoku-Ryu Karate-Do Association and are under the tutelage of Kyoshi BH Choudhary.
Ranjini Gupta, who won gold for kata, attributed her success to her teachers Chaudhary and Ganesh Padyachi. “I trained for three months for the tournament and am thankful to my teachers for my performance. This tournament gave me international exposure and built my confident,” said the eight-year-old.
Akshay Jog, winner of a bronze in kata, came home with a bagful of memories. “The atmosphere was electrifying. I learnt so much,” said the 14-year-old.
With contenders from USA, Serbia, Italy, Ukraine, Belarus and Poland, the Indian team had a task cut out for them. Another factor at play was the low temperatures. “This was a tough tournament, more so because Poland is so cold. But this experience mad me tougher and helped me build my stamina,” said Yash Kolambekar, who won a silver in kata and fourth place in kumite.
For 13-year-old, Omkar Warang, his silver in kata is as precious as gold. “It was a very tough event and I am thrilled that I won a silver.”
Sukrut Joshi, who clinched a bronze for kata, “The seminar by karate legend Grandmaster Soke Takayuki Kubota was the high-point of the tour for me as I learnt new techniques that can be put to practice,” said the 11-year-old a resident of Panchpakhadi.
Bronze winners Radha Prasad, 12, and Ankit Sawarkar, 13, said, “For us, being able to represent India has been an honour. We are proud we won laurels for our country.”
Other winners include Abhay Bamboli, Prajakta Gargote and Chaitanya Kale.