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Martial arts: Flintshire coach helps Gethin to world bronze

A FLINTSHIRE tae kwon-do instructor is celebrating after one of his students battled through injury to win a bronze medal at the World Championships.

Gethin Ceidiog Hughes, 18, fought his way to the semi-final at the tournament held at the Telford International Arena.

His instructor, Pete Williams from Mynydd Isa, said the Denbigh fighter’s achievement was all the more remarkable because a knee injury meant he’d lost a lot of training leading up to the event.

He took up tae kwon-do, a martial art which originated in Korea, four years ago and attends Pete’s classes at St Asaph Leisure Centre.

Last year Gethin won a gold medal at the Welsh Closed Championships in Cardiff and a bronze medal at the British Championships in Hereford.

But the World Championships in Telford were a major step up with 2,000 competitors from around the world, from as far afield as America and Australia.

Pete’s son Terry, who also won a world bronze a few years ago, sparred with Gethin in the weeks leading up to the event where he was competing in the lightweight men’s division for red belts.

He said: “I really do have to pay tribute to Pete because he is an absolutely brilliant instructor and the sparring sessions with Terry were a huge help.”

The Flintshire coach is a fourth dan black belt. He is a fully qualified instructor accredited by the Tae Kwon-do Association of Great Britain and has been teaching for 10 years.

He said: “I’m here to try and help kids to become better, to look after themselves and to give them the confidence and the belief in themselves,

“In the weeks leading up to the world championships, Terry gave Gethin extra sparring training on Saturday mornings.

“Unfortunately, he got an injury beforehand. If he’d been able to train fully, I quite believe he could have quite easily won the world championships.”