AN Orleton teenager has proved he is among the cream of the continent when it comes to taekwondo by bringing home a European bronze medal.

Jacob Thorley, 17, won patterns bronze at the ITF (International Taekwondo Federation) European Championships held in Rimini in Italy.

More than 900 competitors from 30 countries took part in the championships and Thorley – whose father Reuben is a multiple international taekwondo medallist – was delighted with his success.

“It was my first international tournament without my father also competing, so it was a bit nerve-wracking to be there on my own,” said Thorley, who is studying A-Levels at Hereford Sixth Form College.

“But it was my last European Championships before I turn 18 and go into the adult category, so I was really thrilled to be able to bring home a junior medal.”

Thorley, who is sponsored by The Ludlow Nut Company, has been learning taekwondo for more than 10 years with Universal Martial Arts at Ludlow Leisure Centre.

His medal came in the patterns category, where competitors complete a series of moves in a set routine and are marked on their technical performance.

The category this year had expanded by nearly double the size compared to last year, meaning a longer road to the medals.

Having won two rounds, Thorley progressed to the quarter-finals against an Irish competitor that he had lost to a just month before at the National Championships.

Performing excellently, Thorley managed to win by the largest margin possible, 5-0, but a good performance in the semi-finals was not quite enough and he exited the competition at that stage.

It was Thorley's fourth international outing and he has been in the England team for three years.

Thorley also competed well in three other events – team sparring, sparring and team patterns – and his efforts helped England finish fifth overall.

He will hope to follow in the footsteps of his father, who has won a host of international medals after battling back from a serious car accident that had left him unable to walk without a brace.

Thorley is now training for the World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in August where he hopes to bring home some more silverware.