European Karate Championships: Amy Connell and Joe Kellaway boost Olympic prospects with bronze

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
Connell determined to make Tokyo 2020

Scotland's Amy Connell and England's Joe Kellaway claimed bronze medals on the penultimate day of the European Karate Championships in Spain.

Kellaway secured a golden-point win over Turkey's Erman Eltemur in the -75kg class, while Connell beat Jelena Maksimovic of Montenegro 4-3 in the -55kg kumite division.

The results boost their chances of qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games.

"Moments like this are what we do it all for," said Connell.

Kellaway said: "I've been on a bumpy ride but I finally put it together for this moment. To be on a podium with these three other athletes is a dream come true."

Karate will make its Olympic debut at Tokyo next year and by securing bronze medals both fighters have guaranteed themselves places at the 2019 Minsk European Games in June, which will be a key Olympic qualification event.

England's former world champion Jordan Thomas thought he had secured European bronze after his Austrian opponent was disqualified in their third-place fight-off.

Stegan Pokorny was subsequently reinstated after an appeal, but England Karate have since launched their own appeal and the outcome will be revealed on Sunday.

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