Medals galore for Norfolk fighter at inaugural TAFISA World Martial Arts Games

Dee Smout with her eight World Martial Arts Championship medals.

Dee Smout with her eight World Martial Arts Championship medals. - Credit: Archant

Norfolk's sporting legacy has become a little brighter recently after one woman's impressive medal haul at the inaugural TAFISA World Martial Arts Games.

Dee Smout, 28, from Great Yarmouth, returned to the county sporting eight medals, three golds, three silver and two bronze, after competing for Team GB in both individual and team disciplines at the International Olympic Committee backed event.

Dee raised more than £2,000 to attend the games, which were held in Richmond, Canada, but is not expecting a similar task when she defends her titles in 2015 as the games will take place in Norwich.

'It was an opportunity I never thought I would be able to take, but I had a lot of support from my friends and family. My employers, Alan Boswell Group, matched my fundraising which was a great help.' said Dee.

Dee won gold in Individual Sparring, Creative Kata and Team Sparring and plans to return to the mats when the games descend on the East of England.

'The fact that these games will take place in Norwich next year is absolutely amazing. We had 25 people representing Great Britain in Canada but we'll be able to increase our representation and hopefully win even more medals next year.

'Being World Champion is a really surreal thing. There is talk about karate being an Olympic sport in the future. It might not be in time for Rio in 2016 but I'd love the chance to compete.'

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For now though Dee's focus is on next year's finals. Despite only just returning with her medals she starts the qualifying heats later this month.