12:30pm Thursday 5th December 2013 in Sport
PORTUGAL was the host country this year for the European Shotokan Karate Association championships (ESKA).
Twenty nations travelled to Povoa de Varzim for the prestigious annual event held over three days.
Seventeen squad members from various clubs throughout South and West Wales were selected for Team Wales by kumite coach Sensei Kevin O'Neill from Bargoed and kata coach Sensei Paul James from Aberystwyth.
Local students, brother and sister Stefan and Hannah Rees from Tekki RS Emlyn & Llandysul Shotokan Karate Clubs had the honour of being selected to represent their country.
Supporters were treated to live footage online which enabled families to watch their teams from home and be a part of the colourful and lively opening ceremony and the medal ceremonies.
Day one resulted in a Bronze medal for Wales with Cadet Ladies Team Kumite, Hannah Rees, Meleri Pryse and Kirsty Smith. Meleri Pryse (Ikkyo Aberystwyth) achieved a silver medal for Cadet Ladies Kata and Lloyd Birt (Tekkis RS Cardiff) returned home with a Bronze Medal for Junior Male Kata.
Competition was strong throughout the championships and the seniors fought hard on day three, narrowly missing out on various semi final categories.
After a busy and successful year for Tekki RS Emlyn & Llandysul, the club are looking forward to next year and training hard to prepare for gradings, squad selections and ESKA 2014, which will be hosted in Zurich, Switzerland.