The 2020 BC Winter Games in Fort St. John is now in the books, and two young Savona athletes competing in Karate returned home with medals.
The Karate competition at the Games was fierce, and the atmosphere was unlike anything that Akira Susanj (13) and Alexander Teague (12) — both of whom are veterans of several competitions — have ever experienced.
Both boys competed in their respective individual events in the kata and kumite divisions, and while neither made it to the medal round in kata, they both fought hard in kumite.
It was the first time either boy had competed in a double elimination kumite (sparring) competition. Akira went five rounds before two defeats, and finished in seventh place out of 30 athletes in his division (Intermediate Boys +156cm). Alexander, competing in Intermediate Boys (-155cm), made it to the top three before his two defeats, and came home with the bronze medal.
Both boys had previously been picked for team kumite events, but they were subbed out with teammates in the Advanced level. However, they both made the Intermediate kata team (synchronized kata) along with teammate Davis Spencer from Kelowna, and all three earned bronze medals.
The fierceness of the competition can be judged by the injuries that the 15 athletes — all aged 12 and 13 — in their Zone 2 team sustained. There were two concussions, one neck injury, one broken finger, one broken wrist, and a few bleeding noses, and everyone had injuries to the face from all the contact. The medical team on hand at the Games worked non-stop all day.
Congratulations to Akira and Alexander for making the Zone 2 team and representing our area so well!