Age is no concern for young Imogen

On the podium, left to right: Imogen Skipper, Dannielle Dunn and Courtney Dean Gallagher with Imogen’s dad, Martyn Skipper, in the front row

On the podium, left to right: Imogen Skipper, Dannielle Dunn and Courtney Dean Gallagher with Imogen’s dad, Martyn Skipper, in the front row

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

TALENTED Imogen Skipper has continued to impressed in the world of karate this time in the senior ranks.

Despite being aged just 16-years-old and still classed as a junior, the Tower Shukokai member is already making a mark on the senior circuit.

Imogen recently competed as part of the AMA squad in the British International Open held at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield.

She surprisingly struggled to find her form in the junior individual events and was eliminated in the first round of the Shobu Sanbon Kumite (three point fighting) and the second round of the Shobu Ippon Kumite (single point fighting).

However, she was selected to compete in two senior team events.

In the team Shobu Ippon, with colleagues from the USKA club in Bury – Danielle Dunn, 16 and Courtney Dean Gallagher, just 15 – the team took the bronze medal.

The same team then fought in the shobu sanbon team rotation.

In this exciting variation of the rules, teams of three fight continuously for six minutes, the coach changing fighter from time to time during the bout, ‘Tag Wrestling’ style.

As this was a senior international there was some very tough competition but the youngsters fought their way to the final.

Their semi final opponents were the senior team from FEKO including current world champion Maddison Moore.

In an exciting battle the AMA girls managed a win by just one point.

In the final, they met Karate Sport England’s vastly experienced senior team and although they put up a battle were defeated.

AMA national coach Peter Allen said of the girls; “They gel as a team. You can see when they are on the mat they fight at their best as not one of them wants to let the team down.”

Imogen’s coach and father Martyn Skipper added: “When she faces opponents of that calibre, Imogen is forced to up her game but she showed maturity and composure this weekend and certainly came up with the goods.

“A silver at this level is very impressive indeed.”

The girls compete as a team again next month at the Malta Open.

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