SYDNEY’S Richard Basckin and Yonatan Freund ended the 2018 Australian karate season by winning individual and team medals, including golds, at the national championships in the Sunshine Coast.
Basckin breezed into the U21 men’s -60kg final, earning gold after beating Victorian James Brooks 4-0.
He helped NSW win silver in the senior men’s team event, and earned silver in the senior men’s -60kg competition, narrowly losing to NSW’s Yehia Hasanen 1-3 in the final, after comfortably winning his two preliminary bouts 4-1 and 8-0.
“I was happy with my performances overall, but a little disappointed getting silver in the senior event, knowing I had the ability to beat him [Hasanen] – but he was just better on the day,” Basckin said.
Freund, 16, was delighted with his championships tally of two junior division golds and one silver, because most of his opponents were a year older.
He beat Victorian Zac Dean 4-0 in the junior male -76kg final, he was part of the NSW squad that beat Victoria 2-1 in the junior male team final, and he topped his pool in the junior male open competition before losing the final 5-6 to Victorian Lexandar Ivetic.
“My opponent in the open final was from one division lighter than me, so he was very mobile and a different type of challenge, and it went down to the last few seconds when he scored a late point,” Freund said.
“I feel I did really well at the nationals – I was that close to winning a clean sweep of golds.”
Freund and Basckin, who train together up to five times per week under national coach George Barounis, feel satisfied but believe their best is yet to come.
Rising talent Romy Freinkel, 13, also competed at the nationals, but did not advance to the girls’ finals.