British Karate Federation

Lauren Salisbury - British Karate's first Youth Olympic Medalist



Lauren Salisbury secures Bronze

What a journey for Lauren Salisbury, history has been made for British Karate with a wonderful Olympic bronze medal won.


Massive congratulations to Lauren and BKF Coach Davin Pack. It’s been quite the story for Lauren, qualifying earlier this year in Croatia and ending up with that prized Olympic medal in Argentina. One word Outstanding!


The 16-year-old had to wait patiently for her chance to impress on the mat, but didn’t disappoint in the women’s +59kg kumite event.

After an initial 4-2 defeat to Kelii Kydonaki of Greece, with the bout very even until two late points for her rival, Salisbury had to bounce back strongly in her second against a fighter from the United Arab Emirates.

Needing a win, an aggressive and positive Salisbury started well, scoring quick points with the UAE fighter unable to find a response, and eventually winning 5-0.

Despite another loss, this time to Norwegian Annika Saelid (2-0) results dictated that a countback was required and Salisbury’s superior points tally saw her through to a semi-final with Sakura Sawashima from Japan.

Safe passage through to the semi-finals meant that Salisbury was guaranteed a medal but Sawashima ensured it was bronze with a dominant display, running out a 9-1 victor.

Speaking after winning bronze, a clearly delighted Salisbury said: “It’s a surreal moment, completely unbelievable.

“It was touch and go in the group stages but we didn’t expect it [the Greek/UAE bout] to play out as it did and we just sat there and waited. But it was the points I got against the UAE fighter that got me through.

“I haven’t medalled at a European or World Championships before so this is incredible. The whole experience has been amazing, how other sports approach performance and adapt to environments, it’s been a great learning experience.”

Salisbury’s bronze helped GB finish the 12-day competition with 15 medals in total, including three gold, six silver and six bronze, with medals in eight different sports.



Congratulations to Charlotte Hope who has also had a fantastic time, unfortunately no medal this time but Charlotte has had a great 12 months winning bronze at the junior Worlds and gold at the junior Europeans.


Both athletes have been fantastic ambassadors for the sport of karate.


Thank you to BKF Coach Davin Pack who coached the athletes in Buenos Aries and to BKF coach Paul Newby who also helped guide both athletes on their path to the Youth Olympics. Gary Anderson who’s experience in Olympics matters has been invaluable. Finally to all the athletes club coach’s, family and supporters thank you for being part of this journey and supporting our athletes.