Nika Najafi practices her kicks with her father, Ali Najafi, the Sensei of the KimNik Shotokan Karate Academy. She was part of a B.C. team that won a record number of medals at the recent Karate Canada National Championships. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: B.C. team dominates Karate Canada national championship

Record-setting performance celebrated by Karate B.C.

The B.C. team has returned from the 2018 Karate Canada National Championships with a record-setting number of medals to become the first-place province in both gold medals and aggregate medal count for the second year in a row.

“I would like to extend a huge thank-you to the amazing, cohesive and hardworking B.C. team coaching staff who worked long days on little sleep to support our amazing athletes,” said Team B.C. director Rodney Hobson.

“The club coaches were amazing to work with and I’m very grateful for their time and dedication to their athletes.”

Hobson said the outstanding results are a credit to the Karate B.C. High Performance Committee (HPC) of Richard Mosdell, Kraig Devlin, and Sandeep Gill for “their dedication to build the best program to obtain the highest results not only provincially and nationally, but setting our athletes up for International competition (as well).”

Karate B.C. president, Andreas Kuntze also praised the HPC, the B.C. Team and the entire coaching staff “for a job well done.”

The three-day event in Halifax (March 9 to 11) drew 500 athletes from across the country, including the largest B.C. team to ever attend the national championships,111 athletes who brought back 77 medals (not including fourth place finishes).

The 2018 edition of Team B.C. won the most gold medals ever taken by the province at a national championship (26, compared to the previous record of 24) and more than double the previous year’s silver medal count (30 compared to 13 the previous year).

“They did awesome,” said Ali Najafi, the Sensei of the Langley-based KimNik Shotokan Karate Academy, which collected six gold medals and one silver at the nationals.

It was the best outing yet for the eight-year-old Langley club coached by Najafi, a former Iranian National Team member, who has a black belt 7th dan from the Japan Shotokan Karate Association and a 7th degree Black Belt from Karate Canada.

The next national championships will be held in Toronto in March 2019.

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B.C. competitors take the podium at the recent Karate Canada National Championships. (L to R) Swaraj Aravindhan, Khyber Barnett and Chandan Teja. Barnett suffered an arm injury late in the competition but still collected several medals. Photo by Bill Ng, BC Sport Karate Snaps.

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