SHE’S fierce, focused and determined to succeed – and has the medals to prove it.
Two weeks ago, Gosport youngster Lilly Griffiths travelled to Slovakia for the WUKF World Karate Championships, representing England on the world stage.
There, the 11-year-old showed the world what Gosport’s finest has to offer, bringing home a silver medal for her female u15 kata category.
With a whole host of moves under her brown belt, this is one youngster you don’t want to mess with.
Lilly said: ‘In the competition you do two katas on the mat – the judges score each performance and add your totals together.
‘Before I got out there I was really nervous and was pacing up and down, but I thought it had gone quite well when I finished my two routines.’
After completing her routines, there was a long wait before the results were officially announced by the judges.
Lilly’s silver medal, she says, was a real surprise – but was followed by a rush of elation from her family and friends.
‘When the called my name to say I had come second I couldn’t believe it,’ she said.
‘I was really happy thought, then I got to go up on the podium and everything. My family was there to cheer for me and I called my friend Evie as soon as I could – then when I came into school everyone clapped for me.
‘To think that I’m now a world champion is a really funny feeling.’
When she's not studying at Gomer Junior School, Lilly trains five times a week at a club in Stubbington.
With almost a dozen medals already at home, Lilly is determined to reach even further heights in the coming years, with dreams of Olympic glory.
She said: ‘I’ve always wanted to be in the Olympics so I would quite like to do that one day.’
Lilly’s headteacher, Georgina Mulhall, said: ‘We’re all incredibly proud of Lilly’s achievements – she has shown dedication and resilience, and will go on to achieve great things.
‘We look forward to seeing what she wins next.’
Macey-Rose Peak, 13 and also from Gosport, won silver in the Kumite Shobu Sanbon Female Mini Cadets.