Three young members of the Malta Karate Federation (MKF) recently competed in the 26th International Grado Competition.

Widely considered as one of the top karate competitions in Italy – it is also used to select the members of the Italian national squad – this year’s event was contested by a staggering 1,300 athletes from 20 countries.

Rebecca Spiteri, Michela Rapa and Annabel Vella, all aged 12, represented the MKF in Italy. They have been practising karate for the last six years, training five times a week.

The three Maltese girls entered the 12-13 years category which had 23 competitors. Rapa topped the competition to win the gold medal while Spiteri gained bronze after finishing third.

MKF assistant Kata national coach Michelle Vella and Sensei Frank Vella accompanied the three Maltese athletes in Italy.

In a statement, Kenneth Abela, the MKF president, expressed his satisfaction at the results obtained by the young girls and encouraged other members of the federation to take part in international events in order to gain more experience and improve their standards.

More information on future MKF events may be obtained by visiting the federation’s website www.maltakarate.com.

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