KARATE kid Penelope Massey Anderton has become a European and world champion at the age of seven.

The Westhoughton youngster's latest success saw her win the WUKF [The World Union of Karate-do Federations] European Championships in Malta in October.

Penny, a pupil at Washacre Primary School, struck gold in fighting [Kumite] and won a bronze medal in Kata in her age category after impressive performances in one-and-a-half-minute matches.

The youngster, who has since turned eight, has been practising karate for just over two years and was up against opposition who are far more experienced, having practised the martial art since they could walk and with the benefit of having karate in their school curriculum.

It was the highlight of her fledgling career so far – even eclipsing the world title she won last June when she took gold in Kata, silver in Kumite and bronze in the team event at the world championships in Dundee.

Penny's early success against eight to 12 of the elite competitors from different countries in both events, augurs well for her long-term goal of competing at the Olympic Games.