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March 15-17, 2013 Karate NL sent three competitors to the Canadian National Karate Championships 2013 in Toronto, Ontario.  Lead by KNL Head Coach Wing Au, the team of Joshua Coady, Kevin Gosse and Nathaniel Besso made a strong showing at the championships is kata (pre-arranged performance) and kumite (free-style fighting).  However, it was its youngest member and first time national competitor who won the “silver medal” (2nd place) in kumite (fighting) on the opening day of the championships.  Nathaniel Besso, 14yrs old, from St. John’s, NL fought his way to the gold medal match.  With each province limited to 2 of its best fighters for the division, Nathaniel was in pool of 9 exceptional fights from across the country.  In the matches leading up the finals, he defeated Ontario, Quebec and one fighter from British Columbia, but he was to lose one match to another BC fighter.  This meant that Nathaniel had to fight his way back through this double elimination contest to earn his place in the gold medal match.  The final match for 1st place was Newfoundland & Labrador facing British Columbia.  Nathaniel once again fought the very same BC fighter who had earlier defeated him.  The match was exciting with two skilled fighters challenging for gold.  At the conclusion of the round and 2 scoring kicks later, BC was victorious.  Having fought with great heart, Nathaniel Besso won 2nd place “Silver” in the Cadet (14-15yrs) Kumite Division.

Nathaniel is a former student of Mary Queen of Peace School and is currently attending St. Paul’s Jr High in St. John’s.   He is a member of Avalon Karate club in St. John’s. This has been an exciting year for Nathaniel.  In 2012 he was a first time competitor at the Atlantic Championships and won gold in kata and in kumite (fighting).  This past February 2013 he repeated this performance, returning as double gold medalist at the Atlantic Championships 2013. 

Karate Canada National Junior Team is now considering Nathaniel for the national team which will be competing in the Pan-American Championships 2013 in Columbia.  Thus this exceptional adventure for young Nathaniel Besso may continue at the international level.  The final selection will be determined by the end of March. 

Karate NL is proud of all its competitors and their commitment to do their best as they represent the province and Karate NL community.  This latest success of Nathaniel Besso is shared by all his coaches, teammates and fellow karate member.  Provincial Head Coach Wing Au and Nathaniel’s club coach Derek  Ryan are delighted with these exceptional results. 

The success of one is built upon the great contributions of many.  This includes the club instructors, tournament volunteers & officials, fellow karate members, teammates and indeed the families.  Karate NL would also like to acknowledge the support which continues every year from the provincial government Sport Division-Dept of Culture-Tourism-&-Recreation and the work of Sport NL.

Karate NL looks forward to building on its success to create more opportunities for karate athletes of this province to pursue the goals for excellence. 

Sincerest thanks are extended to all who have supported the Karate NL programs and its members throughout the years.

Derek J Ryan, President, Karate NL / NL Karate Union

Karate Newfoundland,
Mar 23, 2013, 4:50 PM