Gwyther wins silver medal


THREE martial arts students from Royston-based GMax Academy competed at the WTKA/WKA European Open Kickboxing Championships in Sheffield recently – with Billy Gwyther securing a silver medal.

Held at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, the tournament featured some of the best kickboxers from England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Italy and Sweden.

First up was 16-year-old Gwyther, pictured above, in the U58kg Division, who won his first heat by a unanimous decision. His opponent in the finals was a seasoned veteran, WAKO British and WKA World Champion Ellis Blake from Tamworth.

And in a finely-balanced battle in the first round, Gwyther’s boxing skills took Blake’s kicking skills to the limit. In the second round, Blake was more cautious, waiting for Gwyther to attack, and using his height advantage and counter kicks to keep his opponent at a distance. Blake just edged it on points, with Gwyther picking up his second silver medal of 2012.

When asked how he felt about winning a medal at his first European Championships, Gwyther said: “I must thank my mum, family and my GMax team-mates and coach for all their help and support. I feel proud to be bringing medals back home and for the club.

“I enjoy training and sparring, and my confidence has grown with each competition. Hopefully the silvers will soon turn into golds.”

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GMax fighters Damien Hunt, 22, competing in the U79kg Division, and Ken Vassiliev, 26, in the U72kg Division, were both unfortunate not to proceed beyond the heats, after giving strong performances against very tough opponents.

GMax head coach Glen Stanway was pleased with the day and said: “I feel privileged and proud to have such a talented team. We have had a good first season so far, and to be bringing home medals from a European Championship after less than a year of training certainly bodes well for the future.”

GMax teaches Kung Fu and Kickboxing classes in Royston for children and adults. For further details please visit the website or call Glen on 07563755 199.