Wad a family! Four in the medals at championships

(l-r) Ben, Deb, Luke and Sophie Wadsley were in superb form at the World Championships in London. NEAA 20-8-13 MC 5
(l-r) Ben, Deb, Luke and Sophie Wadsley were in superb form at the World Championships in London. NEAA 20-8-13 MC 5

Four members of the same family from Newthorpe have achieved remarkable success at the ITF Taekwondo Unified World Championships in London.

Deborah Wadsley, her two sons Luke and Ben and her daughter Sophie between them brought home 17 medals from the event in their respective age categories.

The championships were originally due to take place in Seoul, South Korea, but were moved due to the unstable political situation in the area, allowing more competitors from the UK to take part.

Sophie, 17, who was previously world champion in 2010 when the event was last held in South Korea, this time took another world title as well as two silver medals and four bronze.

Brother Luke, 15, returned with one silver and four bronze medals, beating the world kickboxing champion in the process, while mum Deborah also came away with four medals - three silver and one bronze - only losing to an Australian fifth degree fighter in the final of the sparring category.

The youngest of the quartet, 11-year-old Ben, narrowly missed out on a medal, with a world champion from Japan among his opponents.

The club they represent, Heart of England, which is run by Master Gary Bradshaw who gained his Master 7th Degree whilst in London, returned with 39 medals from its 20 competitors.

Deborah said: “We didn’t go there expecting to win any medals let alone 17, so it was an incredible achievement.

“We thought Sophie may get something given she was world champion but didn’t think she’d get gold again.

“One of Luke’s bronze medals felt like a gold for him as he beat the world champion to get it, and on the back of his performance he’s been invited to Crete with the England team in October to take part in the World Kickboxing Championships.

“Had this event been in South Korea only Sophie and Luke would have competed, but with it being in London it gave more of us opportunities.”

The Heart of England club trains across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire under the tutelage of Gary Bradshaw.

Next year’s European Taekwondo Championships are set to take place in Ireland, and Deborah added: “My husband, Kev, is taking his black belt grading in April so it may be that all five of us will compete in Ireland!”