JESS Bate has made history by becoming Cheshire Martial Arts Centre’s first ever senior world karate champion.

The 21-year-old fourth dan, from Orford, claimed gold in the individual female 21-35 years Rengokai (all styles) kata at the UWK World Karate Championships.

Bate was one of four karatekas from the Evans House-based club to return from Montecatini Terme with medals.

Second dan Rio Johnson came away with two medals, including the top prize in the individual male 13-14 years Ippon kumite (fighting) category.

Johnson, 14, also scooped Rengokai kata bronze in his age group.

Nineteen-year-old second dan Rebecca Cameron, whose father John also attended the championships as a referee, scooped silver in the individual female 18-20 years Sanbon kumite, while the performance of Ben Hutson-Redfern, 17, in the male 15-17 years Rengokai kata was enough to secure himself a bronze medal.

Fourth dan Darron McQuillan, however, came agonisingly close to joining his clubmates on the podium.

The 52-year-old just missed out on the medal places in the individual veterans 51-55 years all styles kata competition.

The group were led in Italy by chief instructor and Cheshire Martial Arts Centre head coach Paul Graham.

The Cheshire Martial Arts Centre dojo is open seven days a week for traditional and sport karate classes and can be contacted by calling 07831 418631.