Martial arts duo pick up five medals

Mel Halstead and Scott Lowe
Mel Halstead and Scott Lowe

Martial artists Mel Halstead and Scott Lowe have returned from the world championships in Switzerland with a collection of silver and bronze medals.

The pair travelled to Geneva with the Great Britain WUMA team and head coach Richard Hopkins for two days of competition, against opponents from more than 25 nations.

Halstead and Lowe both entered three kick-boxing categories and came away with a combined haul of five medals, narrowly missing out on a priceless gold.

“We both feel extremely proud of our achievements and honoured to have been able to represent our country,” said Halstead.

“It was a fantastic experience and due to our competitive natures we are both very eager to qualify for next year’s games which are going to be held in Germany.

“It would be amazing to win a gold medal and become a world champion.”

In the light contact continuous category, the East Yorkshire pair both won silver, but were a whisker away from top spot.

Lowe was winning in the final but got knocked out by a kick to his head with just 30 seconds left in the round.

Halstead was even closer to gold. Her final was called a draw so 30 seconds of extra time were needed to determine the winner but the judges gave the decision to her Spanish opponent.

The pair added bronze medals to their tally with bronzes in the light contact points - which sees fighting with no low kicks.

And in the light contact points fighting with low kicks category, Lowe picked up another bronze but Halstead missed out on a medal as she was knocked out in the early rounds

Halstead said it had been a major achievement just to be able to raise the funds to get to Switzerland, after her success in the national finals earlier this year.

She said: “A massive thank you to everyone that made it possible for us to go, our family, friends, the public support and donations made during our tractor tyre-flipping weekends and, of course, our main sponsors Gala Bingo, Dawn Bellerby’s Nail and Beauty Bar, The Greyhound, Corner Bar, Quids Inn, Auntie Mabel’s Cafe, Rags Restaurant and Hotel, Wheelie Wash, Deja-Vu Beauty Salon, Kings Arms, Vantage Motors, Barefoot Biltong, Spot On Driving Tuition, Audrey’s Fish And Chip Shop, and Pineapple Joe’s.”

After her exploits on the international stage, Halstead, who also plays rugby and football, is concentrating on local and regional events next.

She said: “The next event for me will be the McCain’s Yorkshire Coast 10km where I will be fund-raising for the charity Take Heart, after being inspired by a brave young girl in Bridlington called Ellie-Anne who is one-year-old and has just had open heart surgery.

“I will also be defending my Yorkshire boxing title on 24 October.”