Six-year-old Neela Mandal, who trains at Tri-Valley Karate in Pleasanton, earned first- and second-place medals during the 2015 USANKF of Northern California Western States Invitational Tournament held late last month in Stockton.
She took first in the girls 6-7 years old beginner/novice Kumite (sparring) category, overcoming a five-point deficit in the final en route to an 8-7 victory in that match.
"Her final opponent was about 1 foot taller than her, yet she feared nothing," said her coach and father, Sanjit Mandal, of Tri-Valley Karate. "She understood the will to win, strategy, watching the scoreboard to see how far down she was, pushing aside the crowd cheering for her and listening to her coach to help her win her final match."
Neela Mandal's second-place medal came in the girls 6-7 beginner/novice Kata (forms) category.