TWO of the region’s martial artists secured medals while representing the UK at the European Karate Championships earlier this month.

Boscombe-based Helen Hibberd, 32, helped the Federation of English Karate Organisations’ (FEKO) national female senior squad to gold, while Bearwood’s Luke Lucas, 28, grabbed a bronze with the male seniors.

The Shukokai-Ryu Karate-Do Association duo formed part of 16 teams at the event in Verona, Italy, which attracted a field of 1,572 participants from 27 countries and included funded semi-professional fighters.

Hibberd, a full-time gym manager who recently underwent shoulder surgery, went on to take silver in the individual under-60kg weight class.

Lucas, a construction site manager, will join Hibberd in preparing for the world championships in Ireland next year under the watchful eye of Christchurch-based FEKO national coach Stewart Tompkins.