AN ASPIRING Olympic athlete has struck gold by reclaiming her title at a competition in karate.

Lily-May Bedford, now 13, started karate when she was just six and has gone from strength-to-strength in the sport ever since. She trains five times a week and mum Lisa says she has her sight set on the Olympics.

“We took her dancing for a little bit but then one day she looked at me and said ‘mum, I hate it can I do karate instead?’ and it’s just gone from there,” said Lisa, from Lund Close, Lundwood.

“We took her to Barnsley Shukokai Karate and she loves it, she eats, sleeps, and dreams karate.”

Lily-May reclaimed her title of English Federation National 2019 Champion in the girls’ 12-13 category after earning a silver in last year’s competition. Previously she had won gold consecutively over four years from 2014 - 2017.

She has also retained her champion title at the Irish International Open, something which she has won every year since the competition started four years ago.

“I’m so proud that she has won gold in both of her competitions, and has managed to retain her streak in the Irish Open,” said Lisa.

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“I was told that Lily-May is the only contestant to have won gold every year during the four years the competition has been running, which is a huge achievement.

“I think her ultimate goal is to be in the Olympics.

“She is so dedicated to her sports and she is hoping that karate will still be recognised as a sport in the competition as next year will be the first time in 24 years that it will be an Olympic sport.”