Instructor floored by karate club's storming finish

A super season ended on a high note for the borough's top karate side.

Rachael Houlton led the way for the Dacorum's Seishinkai Shotokan Karate International clubs, taking two gold medals at the South of England Championships.

Her double made up half of the haul of golds, the 23 year old taking the non-black belt kata (forms) and free-fighting titles in real style.

Arthi Niranjan, 15, won the free-fighting title for the smaller girls with 13-year-old Lauren Brooks taking the taller girls' title to make it a clean sweep for the Dacorum side.

"It's been a fantastic year – one of our best ever," said chief instructor Malcolm Phipps, "and we have had some crackers before.

"The competitors have really excelled themselves, right through from children to adults."

The championships, which took place at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth, also saw our fighters take two silvers, nine bronzes and one fourth-place trophy.

Alison Flowers and Cristy Nash were the clubs' second-placers, with Petra Ewington, Danny Richards, Monika Orban, Karen Snowley, Thomas Carson, Olivia Christodoulou and Cameron Lennon individual third-placers.

The men's freefighting team of Teiki Benveniste, Douglas Carson and Daniel White also took a bronze, as did the kids kata team of Steven Barton, Cameron Lennon and Olivia Christodoulou. Olivia also took a fourth place.

America is the destination for the group next year, with their chief instructor promising them a trip to either the Illinois Open Championships or the WTKO Mid West Championships.

The group has clubs based in Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Bovingdon and Slip End.

For more information call 01442 266048.