Doncaster's Mason Yarrow seals Taekwondo gold
Doncaster's Mason Yarrow was Great Britain’s Taekwondo’s golden boy at the recent European Championships.
And the 18-year-old has spoken of his pride at standing on top of the podium for the first time in his senior career.
Mason, who represented GB at the World Championships in Manchester earlier this year, won five fights to claim the under-58kg title.
The prestigious event was staged in Dublin and saw the cream of the crop gather to compete for medals.
Yarrow is the latest fighter from the South Yorkshire town to storm the taekwondo world.
He follows in the footsteps of double world champion Sarah Stevenson and reigning under-68kg world titleholder, Bradly Sinden.
“As it is the first time I have won a competition and with the national anthem playing in the background, it was a very happy moment,” said Mason, following his victory in the Irish capital.
“I was proud how I performed throughout the day.
“My dad came out and watched me.
“He was really proud and happy with my performances throughout the day.
"My mum again was very proud and just happy that I managed to do so well in my final competition of the year.”
Mason was leading the final 35-20 when his Russian rival was disqualified.
That in turn led to the gold medal and plenty of celebrations among the Yarrow contingent.
Despite tasting success at European level, Mason still maintains hopes of prospering at a world level.
Indeed, his next aim is to perform on the world stage again when the chance comes – and he is clear on his ambition to become a future world champion.
He added: “For me, the world championships are still the highlight of my year even though I didn’t medal in them this year.
“I was very happy with my performances and they showed me that I was close to where I want to be.
“I have just got to keep on working.
“Next time out, I can hopefully become world champion.”
Mason was joined on the Euro mats by fellow Brits - heavyweight duo Jonathan Bangura and Hassan Haider.
Londoner Bangura suffered an early exit as he unluckily went down 28-26 in his opening bout.
As for Hassan, he made it to the quarter-final stage.
However, he lost 33-26 in the under-58kg to bring an early end to his tournament.
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