Double gold for Nelson taekwondo star

Nelson’s Taekwondo starlet Aneila Afsar has won gold again after securing another five medals at two different competitions.

The thirteen-year-old was competing against opposition in different weight divisions at the Ultimates Open Taekwondo Championship at the Sheffield Institute of Sport a fortnight ago and then at the South Dublin Championship last weekend.

In Sheffield, Aneila secured three gold medals and silver medal, however, it could have been even better for her, but she just missed out on a fourth gold in a narrow defeat by one point, instead having to settle for the silver.

However, it was an unblemished performance in Dublin as a Aneila secured gold, knocking out her opponents in the semi-final and final, and scooping the trophy for the best junior and senior female fighter of the day.

Aneila will miss out on the London Olympics as she is too young by a few months, but that hasn’t stopped her from aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and the Junior World Championships in Sharm El-Sheikh next year.

But for the moment, the Pendle Vale pupil, who lives on Barkerhouse Road, is preparing for her next big tournament, the French Open Championships, in Paris in December.

Aneila said: “It feels like all the hard work is paying off. I’m training in Doncaster now with Kathy Hook, a former Olympian and medal winner at World and European Championships.

“I need to lose a kilogram for the Paris tournament. In Dublin it was under-45kg, in Paris it’s under-44kg. I’ll need to train harder than I ever have as the fighters will be some of the best in the world. It’s the biggest event I’ll have competed in.”

Her mum, Janatt Afsar, said: “She’s doing really well, continuing on. In Dublin, there were about 140 competitors from different weight and age categories. She won the best female fighter award in the junior and senior categories, even though at 13 she’s not old enough to play the seniors!

“She’s just got to work hard now for Paris in December. It’s a very big international tournament with people from all over the world from maybe 40 different countries. I’m a bit nervous, it’s going to be a difficult one. She just has to be focused.”

Aneila’s family are appealing to any local businesses to help sponsor her to help her keep competing. If you are interested in sponsoring Aneila, please call Janatt Afsar on 07832 969199.