ALAN Winner was in buoyant mood after three of his students brought home medals from the British San Shou Championships in Milton Keynes on Sunday.
Lone’er Kavanagh and Saugat Nembang both struck gold, while Kristian Andonov claimed silver in the Chinese martial art which combines the worlds of kick-boxing with wrestling take-downs, throws and sweeps, fought out on a platform as opposed to a ring.
It made for a great day for the Winner Academy which was originally based in Acton for 28 years, but recently relocated to Hanwell Community Centre.
Its founder was full of praise for his young charges.
He said: “The three fighters did us proud. Three months before they started training with us every other day because if you plant an orange you won’t grow a pineapple, but if you plant success then you are not going to fail.
“We were very hungry for this and put in everything we needed to succeed.”
Kavanagh, 14, started the golden trail with a brilliant win in the U39kg class, dominating his final opponent before knocking them down with a short, sweet left hook and forcing the fight to be stopped.
Winner later requested a contest with the U16 champion to test his young charge a little more and despite giving away a lot of weight Kavanagh was only beaten on a 3-2 split decision of the judges at the end of three rounds, after they had each won one of the first two.
“Lone’er won his own weight category easily, so I wanted him to meet the challenge of fighting someone much bigger than him, continued Winner.
“He is a very skilful boy.”
Nembang, 16, continued the golden theme, proving too strong for his rival in the medal bout for the 52kg category, throwing them to the floor on numerous occasions.
“Saugat really got the job done,” said Winner. He had more fights than anyone and just defeated everybody.
“Andonov, 22, fighting in the 85kg class, could not quite complete the set of golds, having to settle for silver against an opponent 10 years his senior after forcing some impressive stoppages in earlier bouts.”
Winner added: “The other guy was much more experienced, but Kristian fought really well.”