HIS family fled to Britain to escape persecution in Iran.

Now taekwondo prodigy Bardia Tehrani is dreaming of one day representing his adopted country in the Olympics.

The 11-year-old from Hammerton Road in Fartown has just achieved his black belt in the martial art.

“I think of myself as half British and half Iranian, but I want to fight for Britain,” he said.

Bardia came to Britain with his family in 2005.

They had experienced problems practising their Catholic faith and wanted to find a better life.

The youngster, who attends Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic Primary School in Bradley, was a keen footballer, basketballer and swimmer.

He said: “I wanted to try another sport.

“I like the kicking and fighting, but it’s more about self defence.

“I want to go to the Olympics and become a champion and win lots of gold medals.”

His father, Farhad, who is studying English at Kirklees College, said: “I want him to fight for England. It would make me very proud.”

Fellow Huddersfield Taekwondo Club members Jayne Kirk and Jamel Lataief also achieved their black belts at grading event in Nottingham.