A group of karate kids from Dundee have struck gold at the World Championships.
Kanzen Karate students Grace Tait, 10, and Glenn Millar, 17, won gold medals for their performances in Romania last week.
Grace, a pupil at Rowntree Primary, came out on top for the all-styles female Kata 10 years category. Glenn, who has just finished secondary school, is now world champion in the 16-17 years male Shobu Ippon Kumite category.
Grace said: “I’m feeling pretty good about the win. I thought I’d done pretty good during it and then was excited when I got the medal.
“I’ve been in karate for six years and I love everything about it.
“I love competing and just travelling and having fun doing it. I want to continue in the future.”
Karate world champions
Glenn added: “For me obviously it was the first competition back in a while and the first big one in a while so it definitely feels good to have come out there with a gold medal.
“I’ve been competing for eight years and I hope to keep going.
“I like showing off my moves, because I’m quite good, so I like going and showing everyone what I can do.”
Dan Woods, one of the coaches at Kanzen, said he was incredibly proud of the team who went to Romania.
He added: “Obviously it was an outstanding achievement from our squad, particularly after an incredibly challenging 18 months with the Covid-19 disruptions to our training.
“So we had to adapt to how we’d usually prepare in the lead-up to an event.
“This was our first international event since October 2019. So it’s been almost two years since we’ve competed at that level.
“We reached the finals and semi-finals of every category that we entered against the highest standard of competition from across the world.
“I think that’s a testament to our squad. To come away with two gold medals, four silver and a bronze, we couldn’t ask for any more.”
Getting gold for Dundee
He added: “Thanks to our supporters, our coaches, and members of Kanzen for their messages of support and the training. We couldn’t have done it without them.
“We were up against teams from Denmark, Romania, United States that have a wider pool of athletes to pick from with squads over 100.
“So I think having five from Dundee showcasing they can compete with the rest of the world, makes me really proud.
“I think it shows the depth of talent that we have in this small corner of the world in Dundee. I was really proud of them.”
Dan said that young people taking up karate could bring a number of benefits.
He said: “If you look at the last 18-months, karate is about discipline. It is about commitment, resilience – all elements, the tools to handle all the things life throws at them.”
The team say that training is already well under way for next year’s World Championship, which will be held in Fort Lauderdale, in Florida.