Washington crowned a world karate champ
BALLINA'S Bec Washington has been crowned a world karate champion after taking out the ISKA (International Sports Karate Association) World Cup in Sydney on the weekend.
The 24-year-old, known to many as Miss Bec, only took up karate at the age of 19 but was already a national champion in tae kwon do.
She started the weekend by getting a second place in the Koshiki Full Contact division.
"This is not a bad effort for the first time, seeing as she didn't even know the rules," joked her instructor, Shane McKeahnie from Strike Martial Arts.
On day two, in front of 5000 spectators at Sydney's Whitlam Leisure Centre, Bec pulled out all stops to win first place in continuous sparring.
"They were some of the hardest fights of my life," she said.
"The woman that I beat had 20 kilograms on me. It's completely different fighting to tae kwon do.
"It was really exciting to have Sir (Master Shane McKeahnie) there with me, especially as we competed together.
"And to have my mum there to support me was pretty special.
"I didn't really know the rules so we just had to go for it. The intensity was an indicator of what the next day was going to be like.
"To come out and win the continuous sparring was unreal. I had to pull on everything I have ever learnt and all my training over the past nine months to get me through to the finals."
The Karate World Cup is held every three years and is attended by competitors from all over the world.
Bec is now qualified to compete in the Australasian Titles for Karate in Sydney in November, followed by the national Taekwondo Championships in Adelaide in December and then the Canadian Open and the US Open in January. In the meantime, she will continue to coach at Strike Martial Arts.