As she prepares for a major competition next month, rising karate star Emma Ruthven is up to eighth in the world for under-18 junior kata.
Sixth-year Carluke High School student Emma (17), landed a silver medal for Shitokai Scotland at last weekend’s Austrian Champions Cup, as she gears up for the European Championship in Budapest, Hungary.
She told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette: “Eighth in the world is the highest I’ve been in this age category.
“When I was 15, I was ranked world number six.
“But when you enter a new age category, you start from scratch over again.
“And you have to gain points in that new category.
“This is the current highest point I’ve been in this new age category of 16 and 17.
“It’s great. Just to keep building on things is the most amazing opportunity to have to boost my confidence.
“Getting silver in Austria was really good prep for the European Championships in a few weeks. A lot of the national competitors were in Austria to prepare for the Europeans.
“So it’s great to have that kind of competition experience with a lot of people you’re going to be competing with right before it. To bring home a medal was even better.”
Emma, who won four rounds in Austria, is now training hard to prepare for Budapest.
“I would like to think I’m one of the favourites to get a medal at the Euros,” she added.
“My odds look pretty good but there are a lot of Europeans in the top 10 of the world rankings.
“The current world champion is from Turkey, so she’ll be at the event.
“And two of my other main competitors are from Italy and Greece.”
Emma, who is deeply focused on her karate, made headlines in this newspaper last year when she defeated much older competitors to win senior female kata titles at both the North East Open in Sunderland and Karate Grand Prix in Motherwell.
Away from karate, she hopes to start a Psychology course at Strathclyde University this autumn.