A TEAM of competitors from Wyre Forest Taekwondo travelled to Cardiff on Sunday to compete in the Taekwondo Association of Great Britain (TAGB)’s Welsh Taekwondo Championships 2019.

The tournament was smaller than normal with just over 760 entrants, but the standard was high and many of the competitors found themselves up against the National England Team Players to vie for titles.

Fresh to the competition field was 17-year-old Finlay Fitton, who was the club’s first member when it opened over 10 years ago. As a boy he had no interest in competitions and used his art to grow strong, confident and skilled. Now as a young man he can fight the rest of the club, even those twice his size, with skill and confidence.

With a view to joining the RAF, Fitton decided it was time to really develop his fighting skills and entered his first tournament as a black belt. He was fast and smart in competition, battling his way to a bronze medal.

European Pattern Gold Medallist Chris Rayment-Bishop astounded the whole arena by beating the untouchable national squad in the Team Patterns event. His team had continued to train hard since their silver in Croatia last week and raised their standards even higher. The team they beat are known to be unbeatable, this was an incredible achievement for Chris and his team-mates to take the gold.

Charlie Collyer, also fresh back from the Euros, won a silver in a tough sparring division and a bronze in his team sparring event.

Mother and daughter fighting duo Helen and Jessica Giles collected a trio of medals from the competition, mum Helen joining forces on the day with TAGB friends to perform a silver medal winning team pattern, and Jessica battling to silver in individual sparring and a bronze in team sparring.

The rest of the medals were collected on the Ultimate Striker event where students are tested on their power in relation to their weight and gender. Two golds were collected by Chris Rayment-Bishop and Katie Billingham respectively, two bronzes for Arti Shah, and one bronze for Anuschka Sobainsky, bringing the total medal count to 11 for the national tournament.

Instructor Katie Billingham said: “Watching Mr Fitton grow from such a young boy into such a fierce warrior has been an incredible journey. I see so much potential in him this is just the beginning.

"Chris Rayment-Bishop’s performance was just outstanding, and I couldn’t believe the result. However, despite the collection medals there were a lot of tough lessons to be learned on the day, but we take them on board, learn from them and do better next time.

For more information visit wyreforesttaekwondo.com