Barbados’ performance at the third International Karate Daigaku World Cup held at the Wildey Gymnasium was high excellence, says team captain Corey Greaves.
And rightfully so, as Barbados recorded a whopping 46 gold medals to emerge as the most outstanding country having captured 28 and 18 gold medals in the adult and youth sections respectively.
Greaves, the team captain led from the front with five medals and said there were trying times but explained that a lot of hard work, sacrifice and dedication went into the overall team preparation for Barbados to emerge as successfully as they did. The national side was most outstanding in both Kata and Kumite.
“We were able to put the most members onto the team than in any other championship before, and it wasn’t just a matter of putting numbers, but we also put quality, which showed up by the medals we brought home and also winning the youth and adult titles overall
“A lot of hard work and training have gone into our overall preparation. Some of us have been training since last year, and then the bulk of the team was in training since January preparing for this championship. There have been ups and downs, but at the end of the day, most of us were at the training sessions training hard. We got people to come in and choreograph certain things, had black belts helping out wherever possible. So it wasn’t a matter where only one person was saddled with a bulk of the load, but many people were able to make light work of the necessary things to be done and prepare for this championship.
“Both the juniors and adults medalled in the Kata and Kumite, which shows how good we are all-round. The seniors, in particular, I had silver in the Kata and bronze in the Kumite which shows we are there. We had two athletes in the final four of Kumite, and Kata. So it shows that Barbados is there at the top echelons regarding where the World Cup is, and we always put on a good showing in both Kata and Kumite,” Greaves said.
There were a few dubious decisions, case in point the men’s 20 to 39 Kumite team final when Barbados were down by one point and needed to win a full point to stand a chance of attaining the gold. Greaves had scored a half point against his Jamaican opponent to take the lead, and on trying to win another half point to force a sudden death match, Greaves with what looked like a roundhouse kick was disqualified after the judges were of the view that he struck his opponent in his groin, which gave Jamaica victory by two points. But those in the Gymnasium had other opinions and many thought Team Barbados were unlucky because that strike from Greaves did not hit the opponent in his groin.
“Wherever you have judging decisions or the decision of humans, mistakes will happen, that is something you have to bear in mind. Yes, the decision wasn’t what we wanted or expected but at the end of the day when things don’t go our way, we try not to hold onto it, we just move on, take the decision as best as we can and try to move onto the next step,” said sensei Greaves.
Going forward the team will seek to rejuvenate as they look ahead to the 2019 Caribbean Karate Championship in Guyana. “We are going to allow the athletes to rest. They have been training hard, so we are going to allow them a couple of weeks off to heal and de-stress a bit because it is tasking both on mind and body. So, we are going to let them heal, and then gradually train before we pick back up for the Caribbean championship,” Greaves said.