Hackney youngsters shine at UK Muay Thai finals
- Credit: Archant
Hackney’s Reece Walker narrowly missed out on an historic double after clinching the WKA Southern Area title, but was denied the national crown at the UK Muay Thai finals.
The 10-year-old from the KO Bloodline gym in Lower Clapton saw off competition from Fabijus Rackausus (42kg) of the MTMA-VAS gym to take his first title at East Ham’s Working Men’s club in the Thai martial art where competitors use striking and kicking, along with various clinching techniques.
Clubmate Uri Fraser, 12, joined Walker on the WKA bill but, despite dominating in the closing stages of the five one and a half minute round bouts, he was undone by Kane Keddle (47kg) of Keddles gym.
Fraser will be in action again this weekend at the gym’s inter-club tournament along with the twin prospects Ty and Louis Crammond, and trainer Paul Marut is optimistic for the future.
“There’s loads more to come,” he said of the gym’s young contingent. “There are lots of youngsters – about 20 – competing all the time and they have the potential to go on to a high level.
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“Reece started when he was six and it’s the same with all the others, so in 10 years’ time we’re going to be an army.
“I’ve got girls as young as five competing, and I think the youngest boy here is about five years old as well. My son is two and he’s here all the time.”
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As well as fostering future Muay Thai talents, the gym also train 2014 international heavyweight tournament and 2010 UKMF British cruiserweight champion, Arnold Oborotov.
“He [Oborotov] has been with us since he was 15 and now he’s one of the best in the world,” Marut proudly explained.
Reece’s father and fellow competitor, Robert Walker, is similarly enthusiastic about having a professional champion training in the gym and he believes his presence can be an inspiration to the next generation.
“He [Oborotov] has just come back from China and also Japan so he’s got a few air miles in his back pocket and the kids see that success and say to themselves ‘I want to be like that’.
“We’ve got a couple of good kids here now and we’re at the point where we can start pushing them through to see what they can achieve.”
To find about more about KO Bloodline gym, visit http://ko-bloodline.co.uk/ or call 020 8525 4555.