Five Cochrane athletes from the Ippon Karate Dojo have returned from an international karate tournament in Richmond, B.C. with multiple medals.

Now in its 46th year, the Steveston Karate International Tournament is an open event and that allowed the local karate students to not only challenge those in their age group and at their belt level but gain experience in higher categories.

Kristian Nese returned with gold, silver and bronze in kata and he’s made incredible strides in the last year, says Adam Wackershauser, chief instructor and head coach of Ippon Karate.

Canadian cadet fighting champion Carter Dawood, 17, competed in the 18 plus age group and won bronze in both kata and fighting. With important trials on the horizon, he held back from competing in other events to recover from a minor injury.

Rachel Reid won gold in fighting and silver in kata, Kyla Fritz won silver and bronze in fighting and Georgia Gokrert won silver in Kata.

The Ippon Karate Dojo, training out of 122 4 Ave. W., has been sending a team to this tournament for several years because of the quality competition it provides, explains  Wackershauser,  This year’s tournament attracted about 500 competitors from Canada, US and Japan.

The dojo’s students are now preparing for the Alberta trials for hopes of securing a spot on the province team for the upcoming Canadian junior championships being hosted in Edmonton, May 3-5. The top competitors at the nationals will have a chance to represent Canada at the Junior Pan American Championship in Ecuador in August and the world championship being hosted by Chile in October.

Wackershauer has been selected as one of two assistant coaches for Team Canad's junior team for both the Pan Am and the World championships.

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