Karate kid wins championship gold

PUBLISHED: 14:41 04 October 2007 | UPDATED: 21:49 29 May 2010

Georgina McGivern with her gold medal

Georgina McGivern with her gold medal

A SCHOOL girl kicked her way to success and won gold in a karate world championship on Sunday. Eleven-year-old, Georgina McGivern, took the top prize at a competition held at the Crystal Palace national sports centre, in London. Jim McGivern, Georgina s f

A SCHOOL girl kicked her way to success and won gold in a karate world championship on Sunday.

Eleven-year-old, Georgina McGivern, took the top prize at a competition held at the Crystal Palace national sports centre, in London.

Jim McGivern, Georgina's father, said: "We were ecstatic that she won. This is the first competition that she has entered so we were all really surprised that she did so well."

Georgina, who lives with her family in Camps End, Ashdon, is a student at Linton College. She joined the Eastern Counties Wado Freestyle Club, in Haverhill four years ago because she wanted to take part in a sport that would compliment her rugby training.

Although Georgina is learning Wado Freestyle Karate, the competition she entered was for students of any martial arts discipline including kick boxing and taekwondo.

Since joining the club, she has excelled at the sport and has worked her way up through six belts.

"She took to karate straight away," said Mr McGivern. "She is a very quick learner and only took her brown belt last week, which she needed to be able to compete in the competition."

To win the gold medal in the light continuous category for nine to 11-year-old girls, Georgina had to fight her way through four full-contact rounds against tough opposition and then compete in the final.

Each fight consists of two one-and-a-half minute rounds.

Mr McGivern said: "She had a really tough semi-final fight which she drew and it had to go to an extra round.

"We are very proud of what she has achieved and she wants to go on and fight in more competitions.

"Karate takes a lot of skill and discipline to master and it would be amazing if she could go on and get her black belt."

To reach the level she has in just four years has taken a lot of hard work and dedication. Georgina trains twice a week, for one hour on Wednesday evening and for two hours on Sunday morning.

Instructor Stuart Gay said: "She put in a very good performance, she did very well.

"She is very committed in everything she does and is very determined and if she doesn't understand something then she will always ask.

"She has recently taken a grading and got very good marks. I would say she is about a year away from getting her black belt.

"I'm planning to take the students to the next competition in November. I think if Georgina keeps up her hard work and maintains her focus then she could do very well.

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