Kickboxers are best in the world

Kickboxers from Corby have been crowned world champions after taking part in six days of gruelling competition in Portugal.

Apprentice engineer Alex Barrowman, 17, took the world title in the under-18 category at the World Kickboxing Council Championships in Albufeira.

He was also a member of the five-man English team which took the champion's title.

Max Halligan, 14, a pupil at Prince William School in Oundle, who lives in Weldon, is now the world champion in the under-50k boys event.

This year he has already won the British and European championships.

Max said: "I was really pleased to win a world title and next year I'll go up to the next category."

Both kickboxers trained six days a week, twice a day, in the run up the contest in which they competed against sportsmen and women from America, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and Portugal.

Alex said: "I was really pleased to win the world title. I didn't expect it."

Both champions attend kickboxing sessions run by England coach Alex Barrowman senior at Lodge Park Sports Centre in Corby.

He said: "We compete in the world championships every year but this was our best result ever.

"My son Alex has been working towards this for years.

"Everyone did tremendously well. They worked hard, sacrificed and stayed focused and it paid off.

"I'm proud of them all and it was a great result."

Mr Barrowman was awarded a 7th degree black belt by the World Kickboxing Council – only the fourth person in the world to receive the award.

Other winners in the world championships were silver medallists Nicola Gemmill, 15, in the girls' under-17 category, Jo Redman, who competed in the women's under-65k event and Lewis Gemmill, 14, in the boys under-

45k competition.

Double bronze medal winners were Kevin Williams and Kieran Wilson, 14, and Nicola Gemmill.

Mr Barrowman has been running kickboxing classes at Lodge Park Sports Centre since 1976.

He teaches pupils from the age of four upwards.

If you would like more information on the classes contact 07930 260705.