Ciaran Miller, one of Otley Karate Centre’s 14-year-old black belt stars, returned home with a cherished bronze medal from the World Union of Karate Federation’s Cadet European Championships.

The championships, held for the first time in Constanta, Romania, attracted an entry of over one thousand of the top karate youngsters in Europe.

Ciaran, a student ast St Mary’s RC School, Menston, is a prolific winner of England and Great Britain championships. He was chosen by the England selectors to enter the most fiercely contested category of the entire championships; the U-16 cadet individual kata (traditional form).

With an exceptionally large category entry of over 35 competitors, Ciaran set about his task, winning through to the finals with top marks in all four elimination rounds.

The final was a nail-biter. Not only was Ciaran up against two very talented youngsters, as Romanians, they were on home soil with hundreds of supporters behind them.

Nevertheless, Ciaran held his nerve and in an extremely close run battle, determined by the smallest of margin, 0.1 of a mark, he stood, for the very first time, on a European Championship rostrum to proudly received his European bronze medal. On his return from the championships an elated Ciaran said of the experience: “To win a European medal on my first trip abroad is a dream come true. The whole occasion was something special, particularly the parade of all 1,000 plus competitors and officials through the streets of Constanta. The Constanta Mayor and council stopped all the traffic in the town centre and the people of Constanta lined the streets and applauded us. We felt like stars.” For details of new beginners classes just starting at the Otley Karate Centre at Lisker Drive School contact the Chief Instructor Ken Gee on 01423 858474.