Twin winners

MARTIAL ARTS: Twins Robert and Russel McMillan have helped to scoop a karate world title.It became more of a family success when the 15-year-olds from Shotley were joined by younger brother Ritchie and pal Ed Mongan, both 14, to bring back the gold medal from an international event in Sweden.

MARTIAL ARTS

TWINS Robert and Russel McMillan have helped to scoop a karate world title.

It became more of a family success when the 15-year-olds from Shotley were joined by younger brother Ritchie and pal Ed Mongan, both 14, to bring back the gold medal from an international event in Sweden.

Nine youngsters from the Arena karate clubs, based in Colchester, Harkstead, Needham Market and Hadleigh, took part in the IKA Open World Cup.

It was their first time abroad for many of the participants.

And despite feeling a bit apprehensive at fighting in such a prestigious competition, they showed great spirit, good attitude and determination to do well at the event.

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The opening events, all individual, saw Ed and Ritchie gain bronze in the 14-year-old age group.

Then, at team level, they were joined by Robert and Russel for what proved to be a difficult, but ultimately successful, event.

After seeing off the Czech Republic in the first round, then hosts Sweden in the semi-final by the same score, they made it a hat-trick of 2-0 wins against Ukraine in the final to collect gold.

Head of the delegation, Jan Strzelec, said: "I was very proud of what the squad achieved and the attitude shown – not only in the competition itself, but also outside it.

"We would like to thank D H Doherty, Shotley Parish Council, BPI Stretchfilms and Arena Karate for their help with sponsorship. Without their support we would not have been able to compete in the event.

"Also, special thanks to Rod and Sandra McMillan for their part in organising the squad entry and their tracksuits."

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