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Local athlete wins first international team Kata medal for Canada

July 4, 2019   ·   0 Comments

Written By MARNI WALSH

Last week, 18-year-old Nicholas Mustapha, of Amaranth, and his team-mates brought home Canada’s first ever international medal for Team Kata at the North American World Karate Federation (WKF) Tournament. 

The Karate 1, Series ‘A’ tournament was held at the Centre Sportif Claude-de-Robillard in Montreal from June 21 to 23.

Here Nicholas and his two teammates, Alison Nonato and Ryan Shields, won a bronze medal for Team Canada, competing against Turkey, Peru, and Mexico. Many Canadian karate athletes participated in the tournament, competing with 79 Countries and 750 individual athletes from around the world. 

Nicholas Mustapha told the Free Press, “The series ‘A’ competitions are open tournaments where anyone in the world can participate. We could be competing against the best athletes from any country at any given point. These tournaments give athletes international points leading up to the world championships.”

Two Canadian athletes placed in the top seven at the competition, and Canada brought home a silver and two bronze medals. Nicholas and his team were the first male Kata Team to ever compete at the K1 event for Canada. They earned their bronze medal without the benefit of financial backing, or even a coach. They persevered to win with hard work, skill and determination.

Nicholas explained that “Katas are movements one performs that simulate a fight. Each individual movement has its own practical application, and there can be hundreds of movements in each kata.” He says, “Team kata is like synchronized swimming, where members must execute a series of exact movements, and the performance is scored for both its technical and athletic aspects.”

This was Nicholas’ first year qualifying to compete in Men’s National Kata. Remarkably, he placed 7th in Canada, during competition early this year with a 22.48 score. His Kata Team have only been competing together for one year, and they train together in Mississauga  as much as possible. As part of the Canadian national team, Nicholas and his kata mates won a gold medal at the 2019 senior karate Canada National Championships early in the year, which brought them to last week’s international tournament and their bronze medal.

Nicholas says the team is “looking forward to many more world competitions to come.” Karate will be an Olympic sport for the first time in Tokyo 2020.  He says, “The team is looking toward the future and will continue to compete for Canada on the world stage. “

Nicholas is also an accomplished pianist who plays with a jazz trio, performs solo for private events, is the accompanist for Theatre Orangeville’s Young Company musical productions, and teaches piano at Pamela Scott-Demetriou’s music studio in Orangeville. He has his grade nine Royal Conservatory of Music qualifications, and is well on his way in a career in jazz performance. Catch Nicholas in Orangeville at Fringe 519 on July 19.                          

 Nicholas’ twin brother Daniel also competes for Canada. Daniel brought home a silver medal when he represented Canada internationally at the 33rd Panamerican Karate Federation Championships in Panama City, last March. Although most international competitors are fully backed by government sponsorships for the sport, Canadian karate athletes cover all expenses, travel, registration, training, jackets, apparels, everything – out of their own pockets. The amazing Mustapha brothers are always looking for sponsorship and support to help them compete and represent Canada as the best in the world. Interested sponsors may contact the Mustapha’s at 519-925-2742 or 416-708-9817 or by email: gracielamustapha@yahoo.com. 



         

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