Karate ace Clayton Johnson shows promise as he bags impressive gold
CLEETHORPES karate kid Clayton Johnson is one to watch after a gold medal on his competitive debut, according to Grimsby star Cheyne Phillips.
Sensei Phillips, who helped Great Britain bag a team bronze medal at the World University Karate Championships this summer, watched on with pride as 12-year-old Johnson conquered older rivals at a competition in Barnsley.
Johnson, the youngest fighter on the day, won the 11-13 years open weight category.
He was a part of a young and inexperienced squad from Cleethorpes club Fix 'n' Kiks that yielded an individual gold and a bronze medal in pairs' kata.
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Phillips, 21, said: "Clayton's hard training and intelligence is not usually shown at this young age.
"I see a lot of myself in Clayton so it is nice to see such young talent in the club.
"Besides the medal winners, we have such a talented young group coming through and I am excited for the future and cannot wait for their success."
Despite some nerves ahead of his first fighting event, Johnson defeated taller, heavier and more experienced opponents to win gold.
His confidence grew when a flurry of combinations to head and body earned him a 4-0 points win in his first bout.
A 2-0 victory followed at the second hurdle – to set up a grudge match in round three against a rival who beat him earlier this year at the English Karate Federation Championships.
A determined Johnson successfully avenged that defeat with a 3-0 win to reach the final.
And to top the podium, the youngster beat a current holder of Scottish and British championship titles.
Taller and heavier, the Scot took an early lead – but after battling back into the contest, Johnson clinched victory in style when he landed a points-scoring punch to the face on the final buzzer.
Second dan black belt Steven Parker, 15, and third dan instructor Sami Powell, 21, earned a bronze medal in the pairs kata after four tough rounds against competitors from across the country.
They bagged a 2-1 victory against the current English champions to reach the medal rounds, but were beaten 3-0 by a tough National EKF team that went on to win the gold.
Other Fix 'n' Kiks squad members that took part in the Yorkshire event were, James Parker, 14, Alison Taylor, 11, Taylor Nicholls, 9, Sullivan Shaw, 9, and Maddie Shaw, 13 and Syerena Parker.
Fix 'n' Kiks offers karate classes and beginners courses for three year olds and above. Call 01472 602888 for more details.