SARAH Stevenson’s inspirational story may have put Doncaster at the centre of British tae kwon do but the next generation of fighters are certainly doing their best to make sure it stays there.
The town’s youngsters dominated the British Championships at the Manchester Velodrome with 17 Doncaster-based champions crowned.
And there were 28 other medals picked up by players from Team Ultimate and Scorpion Taekwondo.
Leading the way was Bessacarr fighter Niall Gibson who landed his third British title despite competing at a higher weight category for the first time.
Caroline Fisher won her 12th British title in the senior -53kg category while there was a ninth title for Stella Whitehead in the -73kg field.
There were also golds for Emily Watson and Ben Talman, both representing Scorpion who finished third overall in the team rankings.
Armthorpe-based Team Ultimate came out on top in the club rankings over the two day event with a total of 24 medals including an impressive 12 golds.
Scawthorpe’s Chelsey Evans earned two of the gold medals for the club with the 15-year-old competing in both the junior and senior ranks.
Doncaster Junior Sports Personality of the Year Connor Lill was one of the gold medalists alongside older brother Jordan.
The younger Lill, from Clay Lane, beat Liverpool fighter Aaron Bretland 12-0 in the final to become British champion while Jordan took his title in sudden death after his clash with Manchester’s Jack Herring ended 8-8.
There were also golds for Aneila Afsar, Jack Lockwood, Wheatley Hills’ Macauley Clarkson, Eden Massey, Ryan Gomersall of Campsall, Kru King and Armthorpe duo Elise Johnson and Owen Turner, who also won bronze in a higher weight category.
Team Ultimate coach and former Olympian Kathy Hook said: “I’m extremely proud of the entire team who have all worked extremely hard to properly prepare for this important event.
“I always have confidence in my players and expect great performances but this time they were amazing and some exceeded expectations.”
Round-up of Doncaster-based players at the British Championships:
Gold medals: Team Ultimate: Aneila Afsar (cadet advan -47); Connor Lill (cadet advan -37); Jack Lockwood (cadet advan -53); Jordan Lill (junior advan -63); Ryan Gomersall (senior advan -87); Macauley Clarkson (cadet nov -37); Owen Turner (kids nov -34); Eden Massey (cadet nov -41); Kru King (veterans comb -58); Chelsey Evans (junior nov -68 and senior nov +73); Elise Johnson (cadet advan -37).
Scorpion Taekwondo: Emily Watson (junior advan -46); Caroline Fisher (senior advan -53); Stella Whitehead (senior advan -73); Niall Gibson (senior advan -63); Ben Talman (senior advan +87).
Silver: Team Ultimate: Leah Moorby (cadet advan -47); Alex Needham (junior advan -51); Luke Millar (senior advan -54); Marley Buckham (kids nov -20); Chris Swanborough (senior nov -80).
Scorpion Taekwondo: Daniel McGeoghan (senior advan +87); Shane Burgin (kids nov -26); Daniel Brown (kids nov -30); Ashley Ball (cadet nov -33); Laurie McLelland (junior nov -68); Lewis Davies (junior nov +78); Ryan Holmes (senior nov -68); Firouz Changizi (veterans comb -58).
Bronze: Team Ultimate: Tyler Barwell (cadet advan -37); Owen Turner (cadet advan -33); Finlay Benton (cadet advan -37); Tim Needham (cadet advan -41); Jack Lockwood (junior advan -51); Ashley Hutton (senior advan -54); Aneila Afsar (junior advan -46).
Scorpion Taekwondo: Ryan Butt (junior advan -45); Brandon Naylor (junior advan -55); Kevin Lidgett (senior advan -87); Isabelle Adamsons (kids nov -20); Macey Hennessey (kids nov -23); Terri-Leigh Hennessey (kids nov -34 and cadet nov -33); Oliver Ball (kids nov -23); Stacey Hughes (junior nov -59); Ian Ball (senior nov -74).