Plenty To Cro About For Teen Star Cater
Promising teenager Max Cater heads to this weekend’s French Open with two notable scalps and a bronze medal added to his CV after a successful outing at the Croatian Open in Varazdin.
The 18-year-old London born prospect defeated Moldova’s European champion, Stepan Dimitrov, and top seed Heiner Oviedo of Costa Rica on his way to the semi-finals of the -58kg division.
Cater’s run to the final was eventually halted by fellow teenager and eventual silver medallist, Mohammad Kazemifoushazdeh of Iran. Team mate Josh Calland lost in the first round of the same weight category while Ben Haines from Portsmouth reached the quarter-finals at -74kg.
However, for Cater, it was another encouraging result after winning gold medals earlier this year in Bosnia and Switzerland fighting at -54kg.
“The aim now is to go to the French Open and try to win another medal,” added Cater, back in training today (Monday) despite last Saturday’s success. “Longer term, I hope I can get selection to next year’s European Championships and medal there too.
“This was only my second Open at -58kg so I am pleased. Even though Dimitrov is European champion, I knew I could beat him if I stuck to my game plan.
“The aim was to be ahead at the end of each round and though he put me under pressure in the last round I kept my game intact.”
It didn’t get any easier for the Southampton raised, Manchester based fighter in the last 16 when faced by 26-year-old, number one seed Oviedo. However, despite giving ground in terms of age and experience, he came from 4-1 down to win 9-6.
“I caught him with a head shot and managed to hold my foot on his helmet for a few seconds” explained Cater. “Because of all the sensors in the foot guard you can score three, six or nine points if you can keep the pressure on.
“Then I got him with a big punch towards the end,” added Cater who received a quarter-final walkover when Japan’s Takaya Nakagawa withdrew through injury.
In the penultimate round Cater faced World Championship quarter-finalist, Kazemifoushazdeh, and discovered new technology can also work against you. “I knew it was going to be tough,” said Cater.
“But it was even tougher when he scored six points in the first 10 seconds. I tried to get the points back but it proved too big a gap,” added the Great Britain starlet after his 11-4 exit. “However, there were plenty of positives to take out of the tournament and I’ll look to improve again in Paris.”