Karate international James Brunton took on the mantle of ‘Champion of Champions’ as he won the British Open male senior title at the weekend, plus a championship title in his own weight category.
The title had so far eluded the three-time British champion, whose other successes included the American Open title which he won in front of a packed stadium in Las Vegas’s Caesar’s Palace.
Last weekend, Brunton took on some of Europe’s top karate fighters at the British Open tournament in the newly constructed Emirates Arena in Glasgow. The championship attracted over 1,200 entrants, the largest in the competition’s history.
Brunton fought his way round the preliminary rounds of his own weight category to come up against Ireland’s Ronan Flynn in the final. The Belfast boy made light work of the contest, taking his first championship title, before moving on to the bigger challenge.
In the clash of the champions, Brunton breezed through the eliminating rounds as he took on opponents from the different weight categories, coming up against Scotland’s David Hatt in the final.
Although Hatt put up a good fight, this was clearly Brunton’s time as he took the Male Senior Open crown, the major title of the tournament.
Oliver Brunton, President of Northern Ireland Karate and who as coached his son for several decades, said: “I am elated at this result. “For the past few years I have been saying that Northern Ireland can hold it’s 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’.”
Elsewhere in the tournament, Lisburn schoolboy Craig Ryan claimed a bronze medal in the male junior 16 to 18 years event.