AFTER AN absence of a decade, the Troxy was once more the grand stage as the renowned 10K Karate Clash returned with a bang – with 20 year old Joe Kellaway from Orpington storming to the title.
English Karate is definitely on the up – with an English World Champion and with the sport accepted into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Against that positive background, the richest prize in traditional karate history returned to East London in breathtaking fashion.
The Easter extravaganza, hosted by sports journalist Joel Campbell and internet sensation Master Wong, included a frenzy of fast-paced combat as the best English, British, European and world competitors battled it out for a winner-takes-all prize of £10,000. Fighters on the night included Jamaal Otto, Ross Mathieu, Curtis Harvey, Devante Walters and Panayiotis Loizides. The 10K Karate Clash 2017 champion Joe Kellaway fought off the attention of more than 30 fellow competitors to be crowned karate king on the night.
Kellaway started training at the age of six and fought for the first time aged nine. He said: “It’s truly a magnificent feeling and honour to be the 10K Karate Clash champion. I’ve always been in awe of the winners before me, and if I can achieve a quarter of what they went on to achieve I’d have done very well indeed.”
Kellaway has a strict training regime: “I train three days a week and participate in competitions all the time. It’s the best way to keep sharp and on top of the game. My biggest influences are my father, family and friends who have all been so important in helping me get where I am. For me, it’s the Senior Euro Championships in three weeks and some world ranking tournaments. 2018 is a big year as qualification starts for the Olympics. I have dreams just like everyone else and want to give it my all.
“An event like the 10K Karate Clash is like an old legend you just hear about – and then all of a sudden you’re in a dream, and it keeps getting better as you end up winning it all. I’ve had to pinch myself a few times today. Thank you to Joe Long and everyone concerned for giving fighters like myself such an opportunity to showcase ourselves.
“I visit Yorkshire frequently to train with former WKF world champion Paul Newby and that is hugely beneficial to me. The 10K Karate Clash has been amazing for karate, with lots of neutrals turning up to watch. Everyone gave a good show and contributed very much to getting it out there.”
Wing Chun sensation Master Wong added: “Here we have the best of the best and each fighter here tonight has put in more than 100% to achieve a dream. It’s more than prize money – it’s about prestige and honour. The 10K Karate Clash is a supreme event which promotes a hotbed of the very best talent. Long may it thrive and continue to flourish!”
The 10k Karate Clash promoter Joe Long concluded: “Its been nice. Tonight we have had a look at close hand at some of our best, raw young talent, whose focus is the Olympics. It’s been very nice coming back to the 10K Karate Clash after an absence of ten years. We’ve had the simple situation of 32 elite fighters, with the winner going home with £10k. We’ve selected the best from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and assembled them here for one night only. We have also with us four internationals.
“If I’m honest, it’s not just about the money, it’s about the title. Because each person who’s won it before has either become a world champion or has been a world champion prior to participation. It’s an event for the best and favoured by the best. It’s all about guts, glory, prestige and I’m proud to say we’ve seen plenty of that here tonight.”
Long spoke of exciting news of future events and confirmed the return of the 10K Karate Clash in 2018: “We hope to be bigger and better next year.”
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