Our first trip abroad as a fighting unit went spectacularly well, as we came home through the airport setting off metal detectors and blinding small children with the polished glint of gold, silver and bronze. I'm told the LIGO gravity wave detector in Louisiana had to be re-calibrated afterwards due to a shift in the Earth's centre of mass, but frankly I don't believe it.
Anna fought her way into a final against a much taller and heavier girl with great lead leg. Anna fought a clever fight, drawing the lead and countering instead of walking straight into long axe kicks as everybody else had. A very tense and cagey match ensued and Anna took home silver by the narrowest of margins.
The organisers were careful to make sure that competitors from the same club started on opposite ends of the draw, so when sisters Amanda and Alisia met in the final they had already decisively won four fights each, which both considered a good warm up. Amanda had a few good moments, and was in the lead in the early going, but the stronger and more agressive Alicia dominated the latter part of the match and took the gold from her little sister (so mean!).
Imelda and Rhiann wew also on opposite side of their draw. While Rhiann crushed the opposition on her side of the draw, Imelda fought through to the semi-finals and found herself up against a very skillful Israeli girl who showed long strong sidekicks and sharp accurate punching in her previous matches. Imelda had the fight of her life, digging deep and constantly surprising her opponent, her coach and herself with her speed and grit, and with some lovely counters that seemed to naturally come out under pressure.
The Israeli girl won the match with Imelda and entered the final where she had the honour of being the last person to be crushed by Rhiann. There were no more to crush. Rhiann settled for gold.
The coach was very proud of his people that day. There were other fights where we didn't get the win, but there were no bad performances. Tommy and Martha both went out in the first round, and both gave excellent accounts of themselves. In HX we dont fight to get medals, we fight to win the chance to fight again. Medals are lovely, and its great to have your work acknowledged, but getting the chance to try your hardest at the game you love, against another person doing the same, thats the real reward. Perform well and you'll know you did well, win or loose. Go home with your head held high.