On the week of Sunday 3rd September to Sunday 10th September three young Kickboxing Athletes from Evolution Martial Arts in Boston, Lincolnshire represented Team Great Britain at the WAKO Junior and Cadet European Kickboxing Championships 2017 in Skopje, Macedonia. Nesta Baxter, 17 years old became WAKO Junior European Champion 2017 as well as achieving a Silver and a Bronze. Chelsea Leggatt also 17 years old achieved a Silver. All fantastic achievements for the fighters and Evolution Martial Arts.
Nesta Baxter WAKO Kickboxing Junior European Champion 2017
Chelsea Leggatt WAKO Kickboxing Junior European Silver Medalist 2017
This year's WAKO Junior and Cadet European Kickboxing Championships was held in Skopje, Macedonia. Skopje held host to 37 European countries with over 1500 competitors fighting for the ultimate title of European Champion in their respective categories. Representing Evolution Martial Arts as part of Team GB was Nesta Baxter, 17, Chelsea Leggatt, 17 and Talon Chambers, 11. The three young Bostonian Kickboxing Athletes have trained hard all year round and endured a tough training camp ahead of the championships.
Talon Chambers, Nesta Baxter and Chelsea Leggatt at the WAKO Kickboxing Junior European Championships 2017 in Skopje.
On Sunday 3rd September Nesta, Chelsea and Talon along with Evolution Martial Arts Coaches Linda Baxter and Nigel Baxter travelled with the Great Britain Team to Macedonia. Upon arrival the fighters had their medical check and weigh in which ran smoothly.
Travelling to Macedonia with Team GB
Left to right Nigel Baxter, Chelsea Leggatt, Nesta Baxter, Talon Chambers and Coach Linda Baxter.
On the Monday the three Evolution Martal Arts representatives had a light training session with WAKO Team GB, the session was focused on making sure that they were loose, relaxed and ready for competition starting on Tuesday! The session took place outside in the heart of the beautiful city of Skopje.
WAKO Team GB Monday Training Session
The first day of fighting began on Tuesday 5th September with all three of our Boston fighters fighting in the preliminary rounds and Quarter Finals. First to step on the tatamis at the Sports Arena of Boris Trajkovski Sports VIP Arena was Nesta Baxter fighting in two of her three fighting styles, Point Fighting shortly followed by Kick light. This was Nesta's fifth year representing her country and last year became World Team Event Champion and Individual Bronze Medalist. Nesta drew Croatian fighters in both styles in which she beat with a unanimous decision putting her through to the quarter finals in both along with her Light Continuous which she drew a by to the quarter finals.
Nesta Baxter winning her Point Fighting Preliminary Round against Croatia.
Next to take to the Tatami was Chelsea Leggatt, who is 17 years old. This is Chelsea's second year representing her country after competing at the World Championships las year in Ireland. Chelsea was fighting in the Junior Girls (16-18yrs) +70kg category. In her Point Fighting she came up against a Turkish Fighter. After the second of three rounds Chelsea was behind by 5 points but in the third round Chelsea turned the score around to win her quarter final putting her through to the semi finals securing another medal for Evolution Martial Arts and herself.
Chelsea Leggatt with her coaches after winning against Turkey in the Quarter Finals.
Next onto the tatami in the preliminary rounds was Talon Chambers who is 11 years old. This was the first year for Talon representing Great Britain at an International Level. Talon fought a Bulgarian fighter in the Younger Cadet (10-12yrs) Boys Point Fighting +47kg. The fight was close but it was the Bulgarian fighter who took the win in the second half of the final round after a storming performance from Talon.
Talon Chambers before the competition in Skopje.
As one of the final fights of the Tuesday Night, Nesta Baxter fought in the Quarter Finals of her Point Fighting against a strong German Fighter. After a tough fight Nesta came out on top winning comfortably in the end booking herself a place in the Point Fighting Semi Final and securing her first medal of the competition.
Nesta Baxter fighting against the German opposition in the Quarter Finals.
Wednesday 6th of September was the day of the Quarter Finals with both Nesta and Chelsea fighting in two of their styles. First fight of the day was Nesta Baxter against Francessa Oliviero, an Italian fighter in her Kick Light style. Nesta fought fantastically and won by a unanimous decision securing her second medal of the competition. Nesta then went on to fight in her Light Continuous Section where she drew another Croatian fighter. Nesta fought a tough fight but convincingly won with another unanimous decision.
Nesta Baxter fighting against Italy in Kick Light in the Quarter Finals.
Chelsea Leggatt then fought in her quarter finals in style of Light Continuous. Chelsea fought against a much taller Polish Fighter in his Light Continuous after a good fight it was the Polish girl who progressed to the semi final with Chelsea loosing on a split decision.
Chelsea Leggatt fighting in the Quarter Finals of her Light Continuous.
Thursday was a busy day for the Evolution Fighters who remained in the competition. Nesta Baxter had all three of her semi finals whilst Chelsea Leggatt had her semi final in Point Fighting.
Nesta Baxter was again first onto the Tatami in her Kick Light Semi Final where she drew a Hungarian fighter, Csenge Pallag. Nesta had a phenomenal performance that booked her a place in the final an fantastic achievement considering that this was her first European Championship in this style of fighting.
Nesta Baxter listening closely to her GB coaches during the break of her Kick Light.
Next was the Semi Final of Nesta's Light Continuous where she fought against Gaia Vistenin from Italy who is one of the top fighters in the -60kg division. The Semi Final of Nesta's Light Continuous was a very close fight with decision switching either way all of the time between Nesta and the Italian however after a strong finish Nesta came out on top booking herself a second final of the European Championships
Nesta Baxter fighting in the Semi Final of her Light Continuous.
Chelsea Leggatt was next to fight her Semi Final in her Point Fighting section were she also fought against a Polish Fighter, the fight was close but after a fantastic performance in the final two rounds Chelsea won putting her through to the Finals after two solid wins against a Turkish and now a Polish. This is a fantastic achievement for Chelsea to have booked herself a place in such a high level final.
Chelsea Leggatt fighting against her Polish Opponent in the Semi Finals.
Finally on the Tatami for her Semi Final was Nesta Baxter again but this time in her Point Fighting where she came up against the World ranked Number 1 from Italy. The fight was very intense with Vistenin taking an early lead, however in the final round Nesta brought the score back to an even 8-8 but it was Vistenin who scored the last points in the last thirty seconds to take the victory. However she was very pleased with her performance and to have achieved a bronze medal position along with two finals!
Nesta Baxter fighting against the World Number 1 in the Semi Final.
Nesta Baxter WAKO Kickboxing Junior European Bronze Medalist 2017.
On Friday the 8th of September it was the day of Nesta Baxter's Junior Girls (16-18yrs) -60kg Light Continuous Final where Nesta fought against Korina Zugan, a Croatian fighter. Nesta fought brilliantly in the Final executing the game plan with perfection. After the three rounds Nesta had won the fight by a unanimous decision crowning her the WAKO Kickboxing European Champion 2017 in her respective division. This was certainly well deserved for Nesta after a lot of hard work throughout the year and in her training camp. This was Nesta's second European Champion Title after winning her weight class in 2015 in Spain meaning that she has retained her title with some great performances.
Nesta Baxter winning her European Final against a Croatian Fighter.
The Saturday was the day of Nesta and Chelsea's Final in Kick Light for Nesta and Point Fighting for Chelsea.
Nesta was up first fighting against Nicole Carassiti from Italy. Nesta had a great fight but it wasn't to be as Carassiti took the lead with some strong kicks and the fight finishing on a split decision to the Italian. Meaning that Nesta took the Silver Medal in her -60kg Junior Girls Kick Light division making her the Vice European Champion along with her European Champion and Bronze Medalist.
Nesta Baxter fighting in the Final of her Kick Light division where she took Silver.
Nesta Baxter WAKO Kickboxing Junior European Silver Medalist 2017.
Chelsea Leggatt had her Point Fighting Final against Elizabet Simonics from Hungary. Chelsea fought really well however the Hungarian had took an early lead and despite Chelsea narrowing the score, it wasn't quite enough as it was the Hungarian who took the victory. This meant that Chelsea had earnt herself a Silver Medal and Vice European Champion in the Junior Girls (16-18yrs) +70kg Point Fighting a fantastic achievement for only her second year representing Team GB.
Chelsea Leggatt fighting in her Point Fighting division where she won herself Silver.
This year's WAKO Kickboxing Junior and Cadet European Championships have been amazing with Evolution Martial Arts as a club coming home with a European Champion Title, 2x Vice European Champions and a Bronze Medalist. A phenomenal achievement for he not for profit club and for the individual fighters. After this Championships al three of the fighters have also gone up in World Kickboxing Rankings, Nesta Baxter is now World Number One in her Light Continuous category and 5th in the World in her two other styles of Kick Light and Point Fighting, Chelsea Leggatt is now ranked 6th in the World in her Point Fighting and 11th in her Light Continuous and Talon is ranked 17th in the World in his Point Fighting. Nesta, Chelsea and Talon would like to thank you their coaches at Evolution Martial Arts, Team GB and everyone who has helped them make their dreams possible.
The Evolution Fighters with their Coaches.
Left to right Nigel Baxter, Talon Chambers, Nesta Baxter, Chelsea Leggatt and Linda Baxter (Head Coach of Evolution Martial Arts)
t and Linda Baxter (Head Coach of Evolution Martial Arts