EAST Durham’s Bailey Baker battled his way to gold at the British International Open and vowed to push for karate world medal glory.
Baker fought hard for the honour at the event at the stunning Emirates stadium in Glasgow at the weekend.
It was a huge statement as the 15-year-old continues his preparation for the junior world championships in Spain in November.
And Baker, who trains at East Durham Ishinryu karate club at Peterlee’s East Durham College, said it was just the start.
He said: “I felt there was a little bit more pressure on my shoulders this team after being selected for the England squad to go to the worlds and I knew I had to get that win.
“I was a bit tense in my early fights and didn’t feel I was at my best - but I did enough to make the final.
“I’m in the middle of my training preparation for Spain so I know I’ll be a lot sharper come November.
“But despite that, I still felt comfortable and now I’m even more determined to be among the medals at the world championships.”
Baker took the honours in the cadet, 14-15yrs, U-70kg category - the same weight he will take to the mat at in Spain.
Instructor, and Northern England Regional coach, Gavin foster said: “It was a great win for Bailey considering he did have to get that win - but that’s the expectation at this level.
“His preparation is going to plan and I’m confident he will be more than ready come November.”
Baker is still hoping to secure sponsorship. Anyone who can help can contact Gavin on 07708098691. Anyone interested in karate can also contact the number.