Young Hartlepool karate ace strikes gold

Anjalee Dhaliwal with a selection of her trophies

Anjalee Dhaliwal with a selection of her trophies

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A KARATE kid from Hartlepool was selected for an English martial arts squad and walked away with a clutch of gold and silver medals.

Hartlepool schoolgirl Anjalee Dhaliwal competed in the 41st Federation European Wadokai Championships which took place in Reading, Berkshire.

Anjalee Dhaliwal with her medals.

Anjalee Dhaliwal with her medals.

The 11-year-old black belt and her fellow England squad members competed against representatives from 12 other countries.

Anjalee, who attends English Martyrs School, in Catcote Road, said: “I was proud to win two gold’s and a silver medal for my country.

“I didn’t want to let my team down, I went there to win.”

Selections for the England squad took place over two sessions in spring 2014 at Leicester.

Anjalee’s dad, Amar Dhaliwal, a plant manager at Omya UK, said the selection process was very intense and candidates had to perform in front of the England coaches under competition conditions.

He said: “Once selections had been confirmed, squad were issued with England badges, tracksuits and holdall kit bags, and training continued in Leicester every four to five weeks.

“At the competition she did brilliantly and we’re so proud of her. It’s a great achievement.”

This was Anjalee’s second major competition of the year, after winning gold and bronze in the UK National Championships held at Derby in June.

Anjalee, from the Bishop Cuthbert area of Hartlepool, trains with other youngsters at Kihon Do Karate Club, which meets at Manor College of Technology on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

She became the club’s youngest ever member – at the tender age of 10 – to gain a black belt in its 25-year history.