Karate: Bateman family produces another Australian representative

Hannah Sullivan is training for the Karate Junior World Championships in Spain in October.
Hannah Sullivan is training for the Karate Junior World Championships in Spain in October.

THE Bateman-based Sullivan family is fast cementing its status as a talent factory for karate, with youngest sibling Hannah preparing to represent Australia at the Junior World Championships in Spain in October.

The 14-year-old is the only Australian selected in her weight category for the cadet division and is determined to go at least one round further than older sister Rebecca, who reached the final 16 as a cadet in 2009.

Hannah’s selection follows a dominant Australian Open earlier this year, where the promising teenager finished the tournament unbeaten.

Patriarch of the family Brian Sullivan, who has trained both Hannah and Rebecca at local club West Coast Karate, said the Karate Junior World Championships were the pinnacle of the sport for young fighters.

“Coming from a relatively remote karate country like Australia, Hannah will be trying to compete with the best in the world from places like Japan, France and Eastern Europe,” Brian said.

“Because karate is now an Olympic sport the tournament will be extremely competitive.”

The Karate Junior World Championships does not include a round-robin stage and fighters are knocked out of the tournament after a single loss.

“There just one ring and a couple of spotlights and everyone watches each fight,” Hannah said.

“There will be over 100 competitors in just my age division so you can wait a couple of hours between bouts in the beginning but then the time between fights gets less and less the further you advance.”

Brian said Hannah would kick her training into another gear as the tournament approached.

“She’ll be training three or four days a week leading up to the event and will probably add a bit of additional fitness as well,” he said.

“Hannah will do some specialist training with us and her older sister Rebecca and then we’ll also get her together with a couple of other senseis from around Perth to get as much experience and competition variety under her belt as we can.

“There are a couple of techniques we need to add to the repertoire and a couple of defensive mechanisms but she is starting from a solid all-round base.”

The World Karate Federation Junior, Cadet and Under-21 Championships take place from October 25-29 in Tenerife, Spain.

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