Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

Brunton claims British karate title

Champion: James Brunton, right, with his father Oliver and Craig Ryan, the junior bronze medallist
Champion: James Brunton, right, with his father Oliver and Craig Ryan, the junior bronze medallist

Belfast's James Brunton is celebrating British Open success, thanks to the wisdom of dad and coach Oliver.

Brunton proved a class apart at the high-class international event held in the newly constructed Emirates Arena in Glasgow, which attracted 1,200 entrants – the largest in the competition's history.

Brunton (26) clinched the 'Champion of Champions' mantle which covers all the weight categories as well as taking the British Open male senior open title in his own weight category of 84kg.

This latest success follows on from his superb victory in the American Open in front of a packed stadium in Caesar's Palace, Las Vegas.

Having defeated Irishman Ronan Flynn in the 84kg final, he then went on to face Scotland's David Hatt in the Champions of Champions final. Although Hatt put up a good fight, Brunton managed to have all the answers.

There was more Northern Ireland success at the tournament as Lisburn schoolboy Craig Ryan took a bronze medal in the junior, 16-18 years event.

Oliver Brunton, coach to James and president of Northern Ireland karate, said: "I am elated at this result. For the past few years I have been saying that Northern Ireland can hold its own with the bigger nations within the United Kingdom, but now we have taken the big one and have shown that we can indeed produce a 'Champion of Champions'.

Oliver regularly travels to Japan for specialised instruction himself, and is a 7th level black belt with the Japanese Karate Federation.

Anyone wishing to learn karate at the Brunton Schools of Karate Excellence in Belfast should visit www.irishkararte.com or call 028 90 616453.

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