A Chorley schoolboy has been crowned as one of the best young martial artists in the world.
Oliver Smith, a Year 11 pupil at Parklands High School, has been named the world karate champion in the 15 to 17 Rengokai Kata category of the WUFK World Karate Championships.
Taking place last month in Scotland, the competition in Dundee saw him beat England’s Ben Hutson-Redfearn and Italy’s Farina Luca to be crowned the best in his category.
Oliver said: “I was quite nervous about it and obviously I did not know it happened until it happened, so I was in total disbelief until then.
“I’ve now got to try and keep it next time around in Slovakia next year, but we’ve got the European championships before that in October in Malta.”
The 16-year-old, who is a second dan black belt, added: “Karate is rewarding. What you get out of is depends on what you put in.”
Mum Lucy Greenaway, of Harpers Lane, said: “I’m very proud. A lot of hard work has gone into this.
“He’s persevered and got the chance to go this year as a bit of an outsider but he just kept on going.”
Lucy added that “he’s always shown promise” from the age of eight when he joined Shukokai North West Karate Clubs in Devonshire Road, Chorley.
And while he is still a member of the club he now trains at Cheshire Martial Arts Centre in Warrington under Paul Graham, competing alongside team members also looking to strike gold on the international stage.
“Paul’s very successful with youngsters and getting world champions in his team,” Lucy said.