Taekwondo duo continue to impress on the big stage

Two talented students from the Ken James Martial Arts Academy in Eastbourne continue to collect top medals at the major Taekwondo tournaments.

Michele Cavallin, a 4th Dan black belt and reining Taekwondo World Champion added three gold medals at the South East Championships and defended her title that she has dominated for the last six years.

After the regional success the 29-year-old teacher from Causeway School put herself forward for the main event of the year - The British Championships.

Despite not training due to a recent broken toe, Michele displayed courage and stamina to take the National title in patterns and individual sparring.

A delighted Michele said, “The British is a whole different matter.

“Apart from the Europeans or Worlds it’s the biggest tournament of the year with more than 2,000 people taking part.

“The venue was packed and we had a fantastic demo by our team and presentations of which I was part of for getting my 4th Dan in April.

“I competed in patterns in a new category at 4th Dan and above. It was all new to me so I just wanted to complete my pattern.

“I ended up winning the whole category. I beat many other competitors who have been doing these patterns for much longer than me.

“I couldn’t believe it as I never won a national tournament at patterns before.

“In my individual sparring I won all of them and became double British champion!

“I was so unfit because I broke my toe just before the south east and couldn’t train full-on, so it was a real battle of stamina, but I did it - I hadn’t won the British for six years.”

Matt Cook was also among the medals once more. The 31-year-old claimed a silver in the patterns at the South East Championships.

In the nationals Matt took an excellent silver in the patterns but was beaten by his arch-rival Dave Shillabeer in the sparring.

He drew with him in the fight but lost out in the extensions.

Shillabeer was later disqualified from the tournament for breaking an opponent’s nose with a ridge hand which was deemed excessive contact.