World medals for Sendai five

GLOBAL MEDAL AT LAST: Holly Sterling secured bronze in Liverpool.
GLOBAL MEDAL AT LAST: Holly Sterling secured bronze in Liverpool.
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FIVE members of Sunderland’s Sendai Kushiro Karate Club secured podium finishes after competing at the World Shotokan Karate Championships.

Wearside quintet Holly Sterling, Sam Light, Chris Hamilton, Beth Nicholson and Ryan Spencer were all selected to represent England at the 600-strong event in Liverpool.

Sterling, competing in her fifth World Championships, improved on two successive fourth-placed finishes in the previous two tournaments by taking a bronze.

But it was tinged with disappointment after she was forced to pull out of the semi-final through injury.

Sterling, 25, also took silver the Ladies’ Team Kumite event, along with team-mates Rhianne Blundell, Caroline McGrath and Christina Finta.

The other four participants from Sunderland were all competing in their maiden World Championships, with Light, 18, just missing out on a medal after losing in the quarter-finals.

Hamilton, 18, took gold in the Junior Team Kata (set form), bronze in the Senior Team Kata and then joined Light, Cameron Graham and Matthew Humphries in securing bronze from the Junior Team Kumite (fighting).

Nicholson, 17, just missed out in the quarter-finals of the individuals, but progressed well with team-mates Nicole Donoghue and Rebecca Morrison into the finals of the Cadet (16-17 years) where they triumphed over Poland.

International debutant Spencer, 16, took silver in the team event along with Ethan Armstrong, Fraser Grice and Robert Crowney.

Sendai Kushiro instructor John Bruce said: “I was very proud of Holly, Chris, Sam, Beth and Ryan. To compete at this level against the very best in the world is a fantastic achievement.

“The results that they all achieved were brilliant. We are now in training for the European Championships, in Portugal, in November.”