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Wyke teenager wins karate world title in Japan
Bradford’s very own ‘karate kid’ has been crowned a world champion at the age of 14.
Haydn Rawson, of Wyke, is celebrating after bringing a world title and a gold medal home from a prestigious tournament in Japan.
Haydn travelled to the city of Niigata with his dad to compete in the World Championships of Shieijyuku Karate Kemp Kyokushin – a kickboxing-style discipline described as one of the hardest karate styles to master.
The teenager, who trains four days a week, won not only a gold medal but also the world title in the 13 to 15 age range, under 50 kgs section.
Haydn has been kickboxing since the age of 11, but only took up the kickboxing-style karate about a year ago.
The Appleton Academy pupil said his four fights in Japan were the hardest of his career so far.
He said: “When I won it was awesome, it was amazing. It didn’t register until about two days later.
“I messaged my mum, she was thrilled to bits. She told everybody.”
Haydn’s dad Mark said: “I am immensely proud of Haydn who is so dedicated to his kickboxing.
“We travelled to Japan with all the other contestants.
“Haydn did fantastically well. It is amazing how well they all did in such soaring heat and humidity and after the long-haul flight.”
Haydn’s trainer is England’s Shieijyuku Karate Kemp Kyokushin head coach, Keith Priestley, also of Wyke.
He said: “I am delighted for Haydn and the amazing result following his participation in the World Championships, which included teams from Turkey, Pakistan, Spain, Poland and America, as well as England.
“Haydn had to endure very hard fights to gain his accolade but he did fantastically well – as did his team mate, Kieron Cassidy, who sadly had to retire early from the competition with a badly broken foot, but nevertheless came away with the bronze medal in the heavyweight black belt division.”
In addition to Haydn’s world title, the England squad also brought back another gold medal, two silvers and two bronze medals.
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