Young Taekwando Star from Fulham Strikes Gold

Shayanne, 13 triumphs in US Open event in Orlando

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A young Taekwondo star from Fulham has scooped the gold medal at the US Open event in Orlando.

Shayanne Sarsoza, 13, was delighted after securing the top spot with a brilliant display, defeating opponents from the USA in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.

The sport of Taekwando originates from South Korea and has its roots in various Korean forms of martial arts stretching back more than 2,000 years. The name literally translates as the way of the foot and the fist - tae means to break or attack with the foot, kwon means to break with the fist and do translates as the art or way.

Shayanne, who is supported by H&F Council via a Linford Christie Young Athlete Grant, is currently in training with the Great Britain development squad and has been enjoying a good run of form.

She says: " I was a little nervous at first, but after winning I was quite happy, especially to get another international gold."

Shayanne, a past Hammersmith & Fulham Young Sports Personality of the Year, took the title to gain her third international gold medal.

Next, she heads to the Dutch Open, as she looks to qualify for the European and World Championships, which are both later this year.

Her mum, Donna Thomas, says: " We want to say a big thank you to the Linford Christie Young Athlete Grant, which has really helped Shayanne over the past year."

Shayanne has also received funding from the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF), an independent athletes support programme, which is currently inviting talented young athletes from Hammersmith & Fulham to apply for a share of a £1million funding pot.

Athletes have until Friday, February 20, to apply for financial awards, up to a total of £1,250. You can find more details and apply online for an award here.

January 30, 2015