MARTYN Skipper is in fine form ahead of this summer’s World Veterans Karate Championships after winning a prestigious international tournament.

The 49-year-old from Tower Shukokai Karate Club won gold in his class at the Malta Open where he was a part of the AMA National Karate squad.

And it was a family affair for the Darwen-based Skippers as daughter Imogen, 15, enhanced her growing reputation as she won silver in the girls individual kumite event in her age group.

Skipper senior was competing in both the kata (solo performance) and kumite (sparring) in the over 40s age group.

After picking up a silver medal in the kata, Skipper was up against his old rival Rob Ward from London for a place in the final of the kumite. The pair have met twice before, with one win apiece, but with the Londoner victorious in their previous encounter at the WUKF European Championships last year.

However, in Malta, the Blacksnape man took revenge, setting up a final against German fighter Frank Kalkbrenner of Berlin.

And Martyn led all the way to secure the gold medal and the Malta Open Veterans’s title.

The victory stands him in good stead in his preparations for the World Veterans Championships which take place in Bucharest in June.

Despite defeat, Imogen again showed she has a bright future after losing to AMA National Karate squad team-mate Danielle Dunn of Sunderland in the girls 14 to 15 year category.

She won four golds last year in her first year of open competition and she is hoping her latest medal success will earn a place on the AMA Elite squad.

For dad Martyn, he rounded off a successful Open by helping England win the senior male team kumite event to make it two golds and a silver and four medals in total for the Skipper family.