Keighley teenager punches above weight for gold

Leah Moorby won gold in Nottingham despite being the lightest competitor

Leah Moorby won gold in Nottingham despite being the lightest competitor

First published in Sport by

Keighley’s Leah Moorby started 2013 in golden style when she competed in the first domestic competition of the year, the NTC Open Championships in Nottingham. Leah took a bronze last year in the event as a newcomer to the national circuit but the 13-year-old is a different proposition 12 months on as she claimed top spot.

The win was exceptionally impressive as Leah had to compete in a higher weight category.

She was down to compete in the under-49kg advanced cadet category but was the only girl to make the weight, so organisers moved everyone to the next category, which was anyone over 49kg.

That meant Leah was easily the lightest competitor but this did not deter the Holy Family School student, who beat opponents from Gurumu, Quest and Black Widow clubs to reach the final.

Despite giving away six kilos in the final, Leah beat Simone Abley, from Che Taekwondo in County Durham, with a superb 5-0 victory.

Her dad Gary said: “It was disappointing that the organisers did not add another couple of weight categories, as most competitions do, as it gave a clear advantage to the heavier girls.

“This obviously meant Leah had her work cut out but she punches above her weight and demonstrated that superbly.

“She has trained hard since her gold medal in Germany (the Park Pokal in Stuttgart) and is focused on making further progress this year.”

Meanwhile, Silsden’s Natasha Burdock, from Silsden, won silver after defeating BTS (Southampton) and Halton (Runcorn) in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively, before narrowly losing to Liverpool Academy in the final in her under-44kg group.

Bingley’s Oliver Thornton and Cullingworth’s Hannah Priestley won bronze in their respective groups.

Jacob Barnett (Baildon) and Harriet Akeroyd (Giggleswick) stood out for Quest as they cruised to gold-medal success.

The remainder of the team were rested ahead of their trip to the Children’s International Championships in Germany.

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