Jordan Thomas follows in father's footsteps to European title
PUBLISHED: 15:50 21 May 2014 | UPDATED: 15:50 21 May 2014
New European Champion Jordan Thomas' name now resides in the record books alongside some of karate's biggest stars, including his father, Willie.
The 22-year-old, who assists in managing St George’s School’s fitness centre, was one of a team of 11 from the English Karate Federation (EKF) to travel to Finland for the 49th European Senior Karate Championships.
Thomas jnr came up against Azerbaijan’s Aliyev Niyazi in the 67kg final and took an early lead. His more experienced opponent stayed with him throughout the bout on points but Thomas won on a 3-2 decision.
Speaking after the fight, Thomas said it was the greatest moment of his life.
“I’m ecstatic, there are no words to describe it,” he said.
“Me and my father, we’ve been training for this day to come around for a long time.
“For us it was no surprise; we knew I had the ability, I just had to do it. Standing on the podium and hearing the national anthem was the best moment of my life. Hopefully I’ll win a few more gold medals.”
Thomas dedicated the medal to his father, a former World and European Champion who is the current national coach, as well as his family and club-mates.
“Their support and belief in me helped me get here,” he said.
Thomas, who lives in Luton and trains at the Kaizen Central, was already seven-time English and four-time British champion but he now adds the European crowd to his haul. His triumph was also the first medal an EKF fighter has won since 2006.
Deputy head at St George’s Paddy Storrie called Thomas a role model for his students.
“We are tremendously proud of Jordan. He is a terrific role model, showing great determination and humility,” he said.
“While karate is not a sport we teach in lessons, Jordan was kind enough to teach my girls’ Year 10 lacrosse team some karate ahead of their biggest game of the year. They were in awe of his speed and focus. Fortunately for Jordan they went easy on him.”
As a result he is now ranked 10th in the world. His ambition is to emulate his father and win his division at the Karate World Championships in Germany in the autumn.
“I’m sure many people will tell you that the EKF hasn’t medalled since 2006 but we’re on the rise again and I’m glad to be a part of it,” said Thomas.