Awesome Awsworth teenager Megan Hately has struck gold at the World Kickboxing Championships, even though she took up the sport only a year ago.
Megan, 17, took the unified championships in Italy by storm as she won gold medals in the continuous and team points categories, plus a bronze in the points category.
It was an amazing performance by the student, considering all her previous sporting exploits had been in taekwondo.
She said: “I did taekwondo for ten years, but I wanted a change because it felt as if I was taking part in the same competitions all the time. I was a second-degree black belt and I’d won world and European titles.
“I wanted a new challenge and decided to move over to kickboxing. But I was quite astonished to win gold at the worlds.
“I didn’t feel properly prepared, mentally, for the competition, so when I knew I had won, I was shocked.”
Megan,, who is an A-level student at Bilborough College in Nottingham, goes to the 360-kickboxing martial arts school at Ripley Leisure Centre three times a week, training for about five hours each time.
Dave Shaw, the principal at 360, said: “Megan has worked extremely hard to achieve gold, and what makes it even more incredible is that she took up kickboxing only a year ago.
“We are very proud of her and would like to congratulate her.”
Megan qualified for the world championships by winning gold at the WTKA European Championships held in the spring in the UK.
The worlds took place at Marina di Carrara over six days, and Megan fought in the 16-18-year-olds’ age group and the minus-65kg weight class.
She now has her sights set on becoming a qualified kickboxing coach. She added: “I am coaching at 360, helping my instructor with teaching classes.
“I’m taking a break from competing because becoming a qualified coach takes quite a lot of effort.
“I would like to stay at the club coaching and may go back to competing in the future.”