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Drayton martial arts pair are world champions

A martial arts instructor and a schoolboy from Drayton have returned from a world championship competition with a clutch of gold medals.

Wayne Baker and Callum Green earned the honours representing Great Britain at the World Martial Arts Games in Orlando, Florida.

Callum, 12, a pupil at Taverham High School, gained four world champion gold medals – in kumite, continuous sparring, team kumite and team points – and three bronze medals.

Wayne, master instructor of the South Eastern School of Martial Arts (SESMA), based in Drayton, competed in five categories and was successful in four, winning silver in Korean Forms, Team Forms, Team Kumite and becoming world champion in the Individual Kumite.

He narrowly missed being placed in Japanese Kata by 0.25 of a point. Callum began his martial arts career aged four at SESMA and, after a break, returned to the discipline as a student with the Black Belt Academy in Norwich.

More than 30 countries were invited to compete at the Orlando games which had to be condensed from three to two days because Hurricane Irma was expected.

Callum’s grandmother, Jackie Green, said competitors had to observe a 48-hour curfew, not leaving the hotel complex where the competition was held, in case Hurricane Irma caused problems.

It had been windy, with trees down and cars damaged, but Orlando had escaped comparatively lightly compared to some parts of  Florida, said Mrs Green.

Since his triumphant return from America, Wayne has competed in two further tournaments, the East of England Championships and the Peterborough Grand Prix Series, winning both the competitions in the Kata/Forms categories.

He will be representing Great Britain again in the European Championships next year in Schaan, Liechtenstein. He has also been asked by the British director of the World Martial Arts Games Commission to be a GB coach and train the British Kumite team.