A TOUGH trio of kickboxers with strong links to the Dispatch district stepped into battle at the world championships in Spain — and came home with two medals.
Well-known veteran fighter Gary Wilkinson, who trains and teaches at St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Bulwell as part of the Midlands One Kickboxing (M1K) movement, was the star with a bronze and a silver at the World Kickboxing Council’s (WKC) annual championship.
The 61-year-old took his bronze in the 85kg-and-under light-contact category for fighters over the age of 42 and then grabbed his silver in the same weight class for competitors aged 48 and over.
Holly Wesson (22) and Ashley King (15), who both train with M1K at Hucknall Leisure Centre, gained valuable experience in making it to the quarter-finals of their categories as they made their world championships bow.
All three were competing as part of the England team in Cadiz.
For Gary, of Bullfinch Road, Basford, it was his third world championships after taking a gold medal at the previous two events.
This time around he lost to a talented German in the 42-and-over division in the semi-finals.
In the 48-and-over section, Gary, who is now a black belt, third dan, came up against compatriot Andrew Wilby in the final but missed out on gold after a narrow points’ decision. Both fighters received a standing ovation from the crowd.
As for Holly, who is in the process of moving from Bilborough to Hucknall, she lost out to a German girl in the under-65kg light-contact category.
Ashley, who lives near Selston, fell to a Canadian in the under-60kg section but many thought he had done enough to win.
All three are now hoping to qualify for the next WKC world championships in Canada by finishing in the top three at the English Championships in Manchester on Sunday February 26.
n OUR PHOTO shows Gary, Holly and Ashley ready for battle.