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‘York’s leading female martial artist’ Jay Spain spearheads medal push
10:40am Saturday 3rd March 2012 in Martial arts
A GOLDEN haul of medals for York Martial Arts Club was spearheaded by Jay Spain, writes Tony Kelly.
The 19-year-old won the ladies 70 kilogrammes title at the WAKO British Kickboxing Championships in Birmingham, where she was representing Craig Long’s Black Belt Schools.
Chief instructor Long reckoned that Spain, a full-time martial arts professional, was the most successful female martial artist originating from York.
Also on the golden track was Harry Coulson, who fought magnificently to become British champion.
He beat team-mate and school friend George Mason, making his competitive debut in the boys’ over 75kg category.
Another 19-year-old, Jamie Kirby, was crowned British title-holder after beating multiple world champion Darryl Gallagher from Liverpool in the under 69kg division, taking the fight right to his more experienced opponent.
After a few years out, Mark Long, aged 26, showed his calibre to seize the British title in the men’s under 94kg. Throwing a vast array of techniques at his opponent Long clinched his ninth British kickboxing crown.
There were narrow misses and silver medals for ten-year-old Josh Parker, in the junior 32kg category, and Dan Morgan, aged 19, in the men’s under 58kg in his senior debut. Steve Smith, 40, was beaten by current world champion Euclyn Griffiths from Leeds, and Lou Barratt, 26, won silver in the ladies over 70kg.
Bronze medalists were Luke Burks, 19, Nicole Pratt, 15, Holly Long, 13, and Katie Smith, 11.
After a quiet 2011, the team are attending all the major competitions in the UK thanks to sponsorship from British Gas.