WOMAA Championships, Killarney
A Warrior Tae Kwon Do team, comprised of 4 junior students and 5 adults, travelled to Killarney at the end of August for the WOMAA World Martial Arts Championships.
The event, which was run by an American organisation, attracted a large entry, with competitors travelling from the USA, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, The UK, Australia and from all over Ireland. After the opening ceremony on Friday evening, the competition began and two members of the Warrior team were due in the ring.
First up was Michael Carmody, an adult colour belt student from Clonakilty Tae Kwon Do club, who powered his way to the final in sparring and, after a great battle, secured a Gold medal by TKO (Technical Knockout). This was an amazing achievement as the event was Michael’s first international competition.
Next to enter the ring was reigning World Champ Aoife Sheehan. Aoife, who had been out of training for the summer due to a broken bone in her foot, put on a great display but finally had to settle for second place in continuous sparring. This was still a great result, especially considering the fact that she had been having had trouble with her foot throughout the early rounds.
After a very late finish on Friday night, the students were back in the arena for 9am on Saturday morning. The first Warrior to claim a medal on the Saturday was Aishling O’Driscoll who took Gold in her continuous sparring section. This was no mean feat in itself but Aishling was not done yet, going on to take Silver in point sparring and Bronze in patterns. Claire Wilcox, Clonakilty, took Silver in her pattterns section, while team-mate Aoife Sheehan took to the ring once more to claim another Silver medal, this time in the point sparring discipline.
Dwayne Crowley added even more silverware to his collection, taking Silver in sparring and a Gold in the Black Belt patterns division. Seán Ó Broin and his younger sister Aoife, both of Ballineen Tae Kwon Do club, also performed brilliantly with Aoife taking Gold in both patterns and sparring, while Seán took Silver in his patterns section.
Noel Murray, from Dunmanway Tae Kwon Do club, was the first of the Warriors up on Sunday and ended up taking Gold in both patterns and sparring in his Adult Colour Belt categories. Michael Carmody, already holding the Gold for continuous sparring in his weight division followed Noel’s performance by returning to combat to take home a Silver medal for point sparring.
Unfortunately for Jonathan Hurley of Innishannon Tae Kwon Do club, he did not make the medals this time; the 8 hour wait to be called to compete seemed to have taken its toll on the 12 year old fighter and he found it hard to get into the swing of things. Jonathan’s performance was, however, a brave one and all of the team were present to give their encouragement to this promising young competitor.
The final tally of medals for Warrior Tae Kwon Do was an outstanding 7 Gold, 7 Silver and 1 Bronze. Well done to all who competed and a big thank you to all of the friends and family members who waited so patiently at the event and gave such great support to the team.