THREE talented young local students have returned from the European Taekwondo Championships in Davos, Switzerland, with an array of medals.
Thirteen-year-old Ashton Curnick, Menna Burmingham (10) and Harri Burmingham (nine) are students of Joseph Schembri, head instructor at Vale of Glamorgan-based JSTKD Martial Arts and Fitness. Joseph is also the Wales taekwondo coach
The European event attracts around 1,500 competitors from 20 countries and has a dedicated juniors competition where upcoming fighters can compete on the international stage.
Harri competed in the peewee division in both the points stop and continuous contests and drew the same Russian opponent in both, fighting bravely throughout. Unfortunately, he took a heavy back kick to the ribs which bruised him badly, forcing him to pull out. He was taken to the local hospital where he received first-rate treatment and, after an overnight stay, was able to return to the competition to support his fellow team mates.
Competing in the lightweight points stop, Ashton faced Polish and Russian opponents. In his second round, he took a hard punch to the nose which continued to bleed, leading doctors to initially fear it was broken. However, he courageously fought on, just narrowly missing a place in the final, but putting in a skilful performance to clinch the bronze medal.
Menna competed in the lightweight points stop and continuous contests, reaching the final in both. Menna fought strongly but, like her team mates, lost out to a Russian opponent, the same one, in each final and winning the silver medal in both events. This is a huge confidence booster for Menna who has only recently moved into the lightweight division and is just finding her feet in this new category.
Joseph Schembri commented: “As a coach, it is really gratifying to see Menna, Harri and Ashton growing in confidence with every tournament they enter and this is mirrored in the success they are now enjoying with their first venture into the international scene.”
For further details of JSTKD’s classes throughout the Vale visit www.jstkd.co.uk – all levels and ages are welcome with Ninja Kids starting from three years old.