Hannah Turner and Joe Le Maire proved their pedigree with medal-winning displays at the IFMA Junior World Muay Thai Championships.
After months of intense preparation, the Bury-based Unit One Gym fighters travelled to Istanbul this month to compete among 400 young athletes from more than 40 nations and five continents who had descended upon the Turkish capital to take part in the inaugural event.
After five days of intense competition, the 19-strong UK team came away with an incredible six golds, four silver and one bronze.
Of those medals, Thurston College student Turner, 13, found a return to form to be crowned world junior champion, overcoming a fighter from the home nation in the under-54kg category.
Turner utilised her brilliant countering skills to full effect, continually landing solid low kicks and powerful punches as she proved too strong for her Turkish opponent, picking up a unanimous decision from the judges and the gold medal.
Meanwhile, 15-year old Le Maire narrowly missed out on repeating his clubmate’s success in the under-45kg division.
Facing a Russian competitor in the battle for gold, Le Maire started brightly.
He immediately landing a solid punch combination before his opponent showed his immense strength to toss Le Maire to the canvass from the clinch.
Le Maire had some notable success, frequently catching his foe’s kicks and sweep kicking him to the floor, but the Russian’s sheer strength that told as the Brit settled for the silver medal.
n Anyone interested in Thai boxing should visit Unit One’s website www.unit1gym.com for information.
The gym are currently offering two free day passes to anyone wishing to try out their facilities.