Winning gold during the 2012 Karate Canada National Championships hasn’t sunk in yet for Claire Boothe.
The Summerland resident is a member of the Taneda Karate Dojo and represented Team B.C. along with fellow member Jackson Tribe in Richmond.
“It was a really amazing moment. I was the last division of the day,” said Boothe.
“Claire, competing in her third national championships, had an amazing tournament,” said coach Mike Ditson. “Competing in the final event of Day 2, she had the entire B.C. Team behind her cheering.”
That support helped Boothe win all four of her matches en route to becoming a national champion. The win also brought redemption for Boothe as it came against Alberta’s Emily Lambert, who defeated Boothe two years in a row for the bronze medal.
“It felt really good. Look over at the stands and see all of B.C. cheering for you,” she said.
Boothe proved to be the best in the 16 to 17-year-old division in the 47-kilogram kumite (sparing).
For Boothe though, the victory was for everyone who helped her.
“I have had so much support throughout the years. I know who helped me reach my goal,” she said.
Ditson said that Tribe, competing in the 14 to 15-year-old 63-kg kumite, had a breakthrough tournament during his nationals debut. With the way the draw was set up, Tribe competed in four consecutive fights with very little break in between.
“Jackson won the first two easily and managed to hang on to win the third,” said Ditson. “By the fourth fight Jackson was getting pretty tired but he managed to take an early lead in the fight. His opponent managed to tie the fight and even take the lead with 15 seconds to go. This put Jackson in a tight spot in the fight with 15 seconds to go and no gas left in his tank, but he managed to find the energy he needed to score a very nice punch at the buzzer to tie the fight.”
Due to the referee’s decision, Tribe lost preventing him from competing for a gold medal.
“It was great,” he said of earning a bronze medal. “The spirit there was great. It was a really good experience. I was fortunate to medal at my first nationals. You don’t get an easy fight. You have to be at your best. After my first fight, which I lost, I realized I had to bring it up a bit.”
“It was amazing to see Jackson dig deep at the end to even make it to the referee decision,” added Ditson.
Because both placed third, Booth and Tribe have qualified to be members of the Canadian national team. As members of the team they are eligible to represent Canada at the Pan-American championships in Cancun, Mexico at the end of August. Boothe will also represent Canada at the North America Cup in Las Vegas on April 5. She and Tribe will represent Canada at the U.S. Open in Las Vegas on April 8.