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Taekwondo sisters high-kick their way to competition golds

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Poppy Kingsley (right) dominated in a final that lasted just 32 seconds
Poppy Kingsley (right) dominated in a final that lasted just 32 seconds

WATERSIDE Taekwondo Club sisters, Lily and Poppy Kingsley, have both won gold medals at the Northern Youth and Under 21 Games.

Totton-based Lily, 10, and Poppy, 8, used the experience they gained when competing against the best European fighters at the President Cup in Germany last month, to win their classes at the event in Bradford.

Lily was making her debut in the A class in Bradford after dominating the B class for the last two years.

She came through two tough fights and, despite feeling ill, managed to find a second wind and held on for a 15-14 gold medal winning victory.

Poppy overturned a 25-15 defeat by the same opponent she lost to in February at the President’s Cup to win 7-1 and get through to the Northern final.

Here she reaped the benefits of her recent 12 hours a week practice to dominate the gold medal bout from start to finish.

The fight was stopped after 32 seconds with Poppy 14-0 up after three successive head kicks caused her opponent to withdraw. This was Poppy’s fourth knock-out in five fights as she lives up to her nickname ‘The Head Hunter’.

Both girls are reaping the rewards of Waterside Taekwondo Club’s new Elite squad which focuses on a selected few in special arranged training sessions.

Master Colin Graves said: ‘We have a busy group of 30 fighters who attend every week. We decided to hand a select 10 students, who are committed to competitions around the country and in Europe, an elite training programme.

“It’s incredibly hard work for them as well as the instructors and parents as they show real commitment, but the rewards have been promising. We video all the training sessions plus give them tasks to improve on techniques, flexibility and speed.

“Having spent three weeks working on Poppy’s defence, it was very pleasing to see her come away from a competition without conceding any head or body shots.

“I truly believe these two talented girls can achieve great things with Great Britain as I know the hard work, they put in.

“The same goes to the other eight fighters we have in the Elite squad as Sean Neill (Southampton — Waterside Coach) and I are monitoring everything they do which includes making sure their preparation is spot on too.

“The Elite squad is open to anyone who is dedicated to the sport and would like to achieve great things with Waterside Taekwondo Club. We plan to drive the club forward even further with an even better 2019.”

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