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SOPHIE Kowal is a pint-sized heroine.

The seven-year-old Bradford Shotokan Karate Academy member is only 4ft tall but has just won a third national title!

The St Joseph's Catholic Primary School pupil triumphed in the National Childrens' Championship at Nottingham last Sunday.

Seventh Dan Fred Fawcett, who trains Sophie, feared, however, that she might succumb to sickness before going down to the Midlands.

He explained: "Her brother Leon, who competes in kata pairs with her, was sick earlier in the week and went sheet white at training last Friday and had to stop, and I thought 'Sophie is bound to catch it'.

"But Sophie, who trains three times a week, has such spirit in her tiny body that she went to Nottingham and won, and she seems to smile all the way through the competitions.

"Not many juniors stop Leon or Sophie from winning – it is usually the referees or the judges – and they make a great pair."

Bradford Shotokan Academy train at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre and further information is available from Fred on 07787-880330.