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Thomas wins Britain’s first world karate gold for 12 years

Jordan Thomas

Luton’s Thomas (right) won European gold in Tampere, Finland in 2014

Jordan Thomas has become Britain’s first world karate champion for 12 years with victory in the kumite -67kg division in Linz, Austria.

The 24-year-old Englishman – who won the 2014 European crown – defeated Hungarian world number two Yves Martial Tadissi in the final.

It was announced in August that karate would be included in the Olympics for the first time at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

“I have been dreaming about this since I was a boy,” said Thomas.

The last Britons to claim world karate titles were Rory Daniels (kumite open) and Paul Newby (kumite -60kg), who took gold while representing England in 2004.

England’s Natalie Williams was the last Briton to win a world honour, taking bronze at the 2010 championships in Belgrade.

Thomas’ father Willie is the current England Karate national team coach and also won world gold back in 1992.

“He led the way,” said Thomas, who was ranked 11th in the world before the event.

“He could not be a better role model for me and I have to dedicate it to the hard work he and I did to get this medal.

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Thomas has had to foot the bill for participating at the championships himself

“I know my history and I know where I come from, but it is a new generation – English and British karate are on the rise.”

As the sport has only recently joined the Olympic programme karate has not previously qualified for UK Sport funding, which meant Thomas had to fund his own trip to Austria for the Worlds.

UK Sport is due to reveal its funding awards for the four-year cycle leading into the 2020 Games in the coming month and Thomas’ success will certainly boost karate’s case for support.

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