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MARTIAL ARTS: Metcalf's European gold caps triumphant month
MIDDLEWICH Tae Kwon-Do Club celebrated a successful month after producing champions at national and European level during March.
Members scooped three gold medals at the Tae Kwon-Do Association of Great Britain (TAGB) English Championships before Luke Metcalf was crowned the continent’s best in Switzerland at the weekend.
He won the men’s red belt welterweight sparring gold at the former before repeating the feat to finish first in class in Davos.
“The Europeans were the big blue ribbon event this year,” said instructor Mark Spruce.
“Luke beat the Russian champion in the final to become Europe’s best, and I’m really pleased for him.
“We’ve been working on changing the format of classes over the past year and Sundays are now a sparring session focused on improving students’ performances at major competitions.
"People like Luke are training six times a week, working very hard.”
Oliver Jones became Middlewich’s 15th national champion during the English Championships at the University of Worcester Arena, joined by both Metcalf and Gemma Petty with gold medals in the team sparring contests.
Jones was best in class in the boys’ yellow belt lightweight sparring, while silver medals went to Petty in the girls’ blue belt welterweight sparring and Mark Pickles in the executive men’s yellow/green belt heavyweight sparring.
There were also bronze medals for Harry Miles in the boys’ blue belt lightweight sparring and Tia Heath-Jones in the girls’ green belt tiny tots section.
Spruce added: “For a club the size of ours to produce so many national champions is just unheard of. We’re punching above our weight.”
Vicky Jones, from Northwich Tae Kwon-Do Club, took home a gold gong too as a reward for her performance in the women’s first Dan black belt patterns.
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