Vomiting bugs, broken bones and road traffic collisions on karate trip
As their plane landed in Serbia for the world karate championships, youngsters from Great Yarmouth and Gorleston brimmed with hope and excitement.
But within 24 hours of landing one had contracted a violent vomiting bug - believed to have been caused by a duck wrap - and a second had been run over by a car.
The 25-person UK squad, including three from East Anglia's Phoenix Karate Club, turned the calamitous trip around and walked away with five gold, four silver and seven bronze medals.
Though the trip was not without further incident - with 15-year-old Frasier Thompson, a Great Yarmouth High School pupil, breaking his wrist while blocking a kick shortly before returning home.
He was not able to meet the Mercury on Monday as he had an appointment at the James Paget University Hospital (JPH).
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Charlie Trorey, of Hopton, is one of the coaches who flew out with the squad to Serbia's second largest city Novi Sad on Monday, October 8.
And the 58-year-old recalled how a series of disasters unfolded as they arrived.
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'As soon as we landed - before I could unpack my cases - I had to take Sam up the hospital as he was being violently sick,' he explained. 'They had him on a drip to hydrate him.
'Then as soon as I got back to the hotel we found out about Luke being run over.'
For more on this story, see tomorrow's Great Yarmouth Mercury.