SUPER fit Halesowen kickboxing champion Simon Akufo has won the national Commando Challenge for the third year in a row.

European champion Akufo, along with trainer Paul Murphy and his son Lewis, won the three man event in Exeter beating off competitors from across the country.

The team had to complete a gruelling ten kilometre assault course which the Royal Marines use to train recruits.

They had to crawl through muddy tunnels, run through streams and tackle the infamous “sheep-dip”, where each team member slides through an underground tunnel which is completely submerged in water.

He said: “To win the Commando Challenge three times in a row is fantastic achievement and though really tough we really loved every minute of it.

“To beat so many other teams from across the country was a great feeling and it is great to put Halesowen on the map again.”

The 31-year-old, who was given the honour of the Great Black Country Run last month, said: “Seeing everyone getting muddy was great fun and I might have a word with Halesowen and Rowley Regis Rotary Club to see if they can install an assault course for next year’s fun run, then again I’m not sure the competitors will thank me.”

Simon is currently in training for his world title fight with Italian champion Cristian Tronu at Birmingham’s Q Club on Saturday, December 7.

He said: “Doing an assault course and risking injury might not be everyone’s idea of training for a world title fight but winning it shows that I am in great shape ahead of what will be war on December 7.”

He is determined to be world champion again after losing his belt in a brutal battle against Ilya Usachev last year.

He said: “I still see the world belt as my title, I made a mistake when I was at the top but I have learnt my lessons.

“I refused to quit so took a step back and am now ready to be world champion again, when I look at the mirror I still see a winner and a world champion."

For more information and tickets for the title fight on Saturday, December 7 phone 07775 800 906.