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Matt is the best in the World yet again

KIVETON teenager Matt Godfrey sparked a wild family celebration on Sunday when he claimed his third World Junior Angling title in four years.

The Wales High School sixth former jumped for joy – straight into a stinking Belgian river, and was closely followed by his family.

Matt first became Junior World Champion in 2005 in Serbia, before reclaiming the title last year in the Czech Republic.

Belgium was the host nation this year and, in his last year of Under 18 competition, Matt retained his crown – sparking jubilant scenes.

He told the Guardian: "We got changed into clean clothes for the presentation on Sunday and then I just went and jumped in. My dad was a bit reluctant but he ended up in the stinking water as well. It was awesome."

The 17-year-old was in the form of his life as he fished the Ghent Rowing Course waters in Belgium and he believes that preparation was the key.

He said: "I had a brilliant week. I had done lots of preparation, got my equipment in good shape and found out lots of information from people."

"I had four days of practise and I won most of those matches, so I was confident – but you're fishing against the best in the world."

"I won my section on both days of competition, and you can't get any better than that. It was the best I've ever fished."

Matt's trip to Belgium was a family affair, with father Kevin and grandad Ray accompanying him.

Mum Andrea and sister Hannah were at home in Kiveton, awaiting results with baited breath.

Matt said: "It was brilliant to have some family with me. My grandad never stopped smiling all week."

"My mum and my sister had decorated the house for when I got back and I really appreciate the support they give me, I have to thank them."

After a week of intense international rivalry, the teen was finally able to relax with his England teammates, who clinched bronze overall, and his opponents at a banquet on Sunday night.

"During the practise we're all really against the other teams. Before the competition there's a big ceremony and a parade with all the national anthems, it's a massive thing."

"Then after Saturday and Sunday's fishing we had the presentation and in the evening there was a banquet where we all swapped shirts, shook everyone's hand and tried to talk French to everyone."

"You're enemies all week but then at the end you're really close to them all. I loved it."

Matt's next step is a move into Under 22s competition, which he admits is a tough challenge, but one he's looking forward to.

The Triana North club team member said: "It's a very hard team to get picked for. There are a lot of good anglers and they're a lot older than me, but I'll have a crack at it."

He paid tribute to those who have helped him along the way to three World titles.

"I want to thank my family obviously, Greg Forrester of Worksop Angling Supplies who sponsors me for my bait and everything, my team-mates and everyone who has influenced my fishing."

 
 
 

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