Rugby can boast a new kickboxing world champion - and two silver and bronze medallists.
Gordon Burcham won the WKC -75kg title in Montreal with Todd Williams, 16, winning silver and bronze at -65kg and Megan Ansell a bronze medallist at -35kg. Sam Bancroft, who won bronze last year, just missed out on a medal this time.
Having qualified with success at the British championship earlier this year their intense training paid off in Canada.
“They were fantastic,” said Gordon, 35, who runs G-Force Martials Arts in Wood Street.
“Morgan is developing so well and only just missed out on the final. Tom is learning the art of points fighting and is really strong, while Sam is very skilful and dynamic and is working on his game plan.”
Gordon is proud of his students - and delighted to have secured his own world gold. He last won on home soil in 2003 and took silver in Portugal two years ago. Gordon’s experience triumphed over the world junior champion in the final: “My preparation was really good and I’d been visualising the final for about 30 hours,” he said. “I’ve become a lot calmer and wiser in my approach.
“Winning was like a dream come true, it was very surreal and great phoning everyone to tell them. Being world champion is the pinnacle of anyone’s career.”
Gordon is looking forward to defending his title in Italy next year and continuing to nurture young talent.
He believes Rugby will have more world champions in the future.