DALE Thornberry and Brittany Reece have returned to Australia with plenty of reasons to smile.
It’s not only because they got to lap up Greece’s summer sun but because the Bathurst couple have also come home with five International Sports Kickboxing Association World Titles medals between them.
Thornberry followed in his father Rod’s footsteps by claiming a gold medal in weapons, with 20 years separating the father-son combination from their respective triumphs at the same event.
Bronze medals finishes in traditional forms and full contact kumite added to a memorable tournament for Thornberry.
Reece was also in the medal mix with a pair of silver medals to her name, coming via weapons and traditional forms.
Thornberry was thrilled to repeat his dad’s success in the same discipline.
“I was over the moon. It was my first world championship, and I could finally go up there with my father and brother,” he said.
“It was even better that 20 years ago my dad did the same thing. Funnily enough, he got gold for weapons and so did I.”
Thornberry said the wait for weapons results was a nervous one.
“I didn’t know what to think when I first heard I’d won, but my face was hurting from smiling so much,” he said.
“It was the best that I’d performed in a long time so I was feeling pretty good, but was still nervous waiting for the result.”
The pair of silvers make the many weeks of practice worthwhile for Reece.
“I was very pleased with my results. I’ve been working on this stuff for quite a while and I competed in my last world championships with the kata that I did in this one,” she said.
“I’ve been training really hard with Rod for this. The competition there was a step up from what I’m used to. I was hoping to just place, so to come away with two silvers I was absolutely stoked.”
Reece said she already felt like a winner when she arrived at the venue.
“We worked so hard on this and it was all worth it once we got there,” she said.
“That’s when we realised that all our work had paid off.”
Next on the list for the pair is the International Sports Karate Association World Cup held in Sydney this October.
The 2018 International Sports Kickboxing Association World Titles will be held in the United States next June, and Thornberry and Reece are already eyeing off another trip to the championships.
“We’ll be hoping to go there and defend our titles,” Thornberry said.