Medal-happy Dragon kickboxers breathe fire at world championships

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Six kickboxers from the Dragon Freestyle club in Mansfield covered themselves in glory at the world martial arts championships.

For all six returned home with medals, adding up to a fantastic haul of 18 -- two golds, 11 silvers and five bronzes.

The gold medals were won by Scott Thomas, who also bagged two silvers and a bronze, and Nia Kirwan-Thomas, who also pocketed a silver and two bronzes. But perhaps pride of place went to ten-year-old Noah Webb, who was competing on the world stage for the first time.

Competing at under-35kg, Noah, who goes to Heathlands Primary School in Rainworth, was runner-up in the points category, losing only to a fellow Team GB competitor who was two years older and two kilograms heavier. And he also won a bronze medal in the light contact category.

“It was a massive achievement,” said mum Dawn, 41, who revealed Noah can’t wait for another crack at the worlds next year when he will be gunning for gold.

The tournament, held in Manchester, was hosted by the World Fightsports and Martial Arts Council (WFMC). Dragon suffered a blow only days beforehand when coach Ian Harrison had to withdraw because his wife, Nas, suffered a minor stroke, from which she is now recovering. But Jim Todd, of 360 Kickboxing, stepped in his place and won four medals of his own (three silver and one bronze) to steer the Dragon team to success. The others were landed by Matthew Hughes (two silver) and Ben Spilsbury (two silver).

“All came back with some bling, which is absolutely brilliant,” said Harrison. “A massive well done to all.”

As for Noah, his efforts stem from the hard work he has put in since taking up kickboxing at the age of five under the wing of dad Roger, 43, who was also a competition fighter in his younger days.

Noah, who lives with mum, dad and eight-year-old sister Scarlett at Pine Close in Rainworth, has won regional contests and took a British title to qualify for the WFMC event.

Anyone interested in sponsoring him, or any other Dragon fighters, to cover their travel and kit expenses, should contact the club through its Facebook page.