Local Students Bring Home 21 Medals From Nation’s Largest Karate Championship

Some of Amity’s champions, posing with their sensei. (Source: Brooklyn Amity School)

They’ve done it again!

Students from the after-school karate program at Brooklyn Amity School (3867 Shore Parkway) traversed the nation to compete in America’s largest karate championship, and returned with 21 medals – nearly double the amount they brought home last year.

The team racked up eight gold medals, four silver and nine bronze at the 2013 USA National Karate Championships and U.S. Team Trials, held in Greenville, South Carolina from July 10 to July 14. It’s the biggest organized championship in the country, with more than 1,200 competitors from more than 40 states competing.

“The number of medals earned in this national championship is two times more in comparison to total medals that were earned in the last year’s national championship. As a very young karate school, the success is extraordinary and huge,” said the students’ teacher, Sensei Meral Olmez, a two-time world champion. “I developed a very demanding program and literally pushed athletes throughout the whole duration of the one month-long training camp, which was in addition to the training that they got throughout the year.”

Last year was the first time the school competed at the tournament, and they racked up an impressive 13 medals.

The students are beaming with pride over their victory, but acknowledged the hard work it took to get there.

“It was tough but at the end it all paid off because we won medals … It was very nerve wrecking but [during the competition] you have to keep your composure and act as if you perform everything great and show the judges that you won. You have to concentrate on what you have to accomplish,” said Farzana Ruzehaji, a senior at Brooklyn Amity School who earned two gold medals this year. “When you walk in and you see this giant arena filled with people and they are all looking at you. It feels like you are a celebrity.”


Below is a list of the students who came home with medals:

1st Place:
Sarah Marin (Sparring)
Berkay Okyar(Form)
Zeynep Kurt (Sparring)
Beyza Kurt (Form)
Nilufer Turhan (Sparring)
Farzana Ruzehaji (Sparring)
Farzana Ruzehaji (Form)
Zeynep Kurt (Form)

2nd Place:
Seda Bektas (Sparring)
Hacer Tektas (Form)
Zehra Abacioglu (Sparring)
Nilufer Turhan (Form)

3rd Place:
Seda Bektas (Form)
Zehra Abacioglu (Form)
Serra Kilic (Sparring)
Serra Kilic (Form)
Mucella Bursal (Sparring)
Mucella Bursal (Form)
Beyza Kurt (Sparring)
Hacer Tektas (Sparring)
Berkay Okyar (Sparring)