Brodie and Alkurdi Golden in PEI
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I.—British Columbia’s Oliva Brodie and Nova Scotia’s Gassan Alkurdi kicked and punched their way onto the top step of the Canada Winter Games podium in the opening day of kumite competitions on Tuesday.
One day after claiming the bronze in the kata competition, the young Brodie was two steps higher on the women’s podium. The Saanich, B.C. teen easily worked her way through the draw, winning all of her matches.
“It was a really good experience and really fun. I am very proud to represent British Columbia at the first karate event in the Canada Games,” said Brodie, who earned her ticket into the final with a decisive 7-0 victory over her west coast teammate, Lena Andres.
Brodie battled Quebec’s Maroua Mokdad in the gold medal match. Taking advantage of a sizeable height and reach difference, Brodie locked up the gold medal with a 5-0 score.
“I just tried to stay calm and not get distracted by anything around me all day,” added Brodie. “I think staying calm and cool was really the difference.”
Mokdad was smiling in the silver medal position.
Nova Scotia’s Mikayla German and British Columbia’s Lena Andres shared the bronze medal step of the podium.
Nova Scotia athletes also celebrated the gold and silver medals in the men’s 61kg weight class.
Gassan Alkurdi lost his second bout of the day which dropped him into the double-elimination side of the bracket. His teammate, Evan Peddle, was unbeaten until the two Nova Scotians squared off to determine the colour of medal they would be bringing home across the Confederation Bridge.
“At first I felt a bit slow, but I kept my head up and did everything my coach said so that was helpful,” said Alkurdi. “As we were getting towards the end, I just felt lighter, I was doing extra stretches and started feeling a lot better.”
He sure did.
Alkurdi ran the bracket, forcing a second match after topping Peddle 4-0 in the opening fight. He solidified the gold medal with a 1-0 triumph in the second and final bout.
“It feels really good to win the gold. Especially when things are not going well and then suddenly it all comes together,” said Alkurdi.
Alberta’s Helitha Rathnayake (Calgary) and British Columbia’s Nia Haftlang (North Vancouver) won the men’s bronze medals.
After two days of karate competition, British Columbia has six medals, Alberta three, Nova Scotia three, Ontario and Quebec both with two in the karate venue.
The karate kumite events continue on Wednesday at the Canada Winter Games with the women’s -59kg and men’s -68kg classifications.
For more information on Karate Canada, please visit us at www.karatecanada.org.