Sheffield girl wins gold at British Taekwondo Championships
A nine year old Sheffield girl, inspired by her hero Jade Jones, has become the British National Taekwondo Champion.
Caitlin Gillott was still only eight when she won the -23kg category gold medal for girls up to 11 years of age back in September.
Her mum Michelle, from Richmond, Stradbroke is absolutely beaming with pride, "I'm very proud, I think people get fed up with me. It's just amazing, at eight years old my daughter became a national champion, I still can't believe it."
When asked if Caitlin was influenced by double Olympic gold medal winning Taekwondo champion Jade Jones, Michelle replied: "Yes, you've hit the nail on the head. She's been obsessed with Jade, especially in this last Olympics in Rio. She's been first in line a few times to meet her, we got some photo's of them together, and Jade even gave her some of her body armour."
Caitlin won bronze last year but this time around she left the tournament at London's Copper Box Arena as champion.
"I felt sick all day. I couldn't eat or drink. When Caitlin won she broke down in tears and Scott, her instructor, picked her up. Even parents from the other teams were crying. It was such an intense moment.
"It did not hit me till later, after I'd sat down. Then I started crying."
Her parents Michelle, 25, and Lee, 36, are now trying to get some sponsorship for Caitlin so she can go and fight in the European Championships in Rotterdam.
"It would be nice to take her abroad. We are still looking for a sponsor, so she can get some better equipment as well taking trips to tournaments.
"She can't join Team GB until she is 12 but that's what we are working towards." said Michelle, who home schools Caitlin from 9am to 2pm everyday, before training for two hours in the evening.
Caitlin started at the Kangchul Blackbelt Academy in Rotherham when she was six years old, a year after the 2012 Olympics. She now does Taekwondo training six times a week.
Her instructor Scott Coullie said they have not had a national champion at his Academy for 'a very long time' but he feels Caitlin is destined for the British Olympic team. "She's got a few years to go yet but it is looking good. In her second fight of the four it took to win the gold, the other team pulled their girl out as they didn't fancy fighting her. Caitlin is always up for it though. She's always ready."
Caitlin herself has a very clear ultimate goal. "To win Olympics." she said. "I've already won the nationals, so yeh, it's to win the Olympics."