Senior competitor David O’Donnell who trains in Blackrock and Niamh Maye who trains in both Blackrock and Tallanstown both travelled to Varese in Italy as part of the Irish squad to compete at the Wado European Championships. Other competitors who made this elite select squad came from Kells Wadokai and Derry Wadokai.
Shortly before setting off for Luxembourg Niamh Maye had become national kata champion after winning her section in the girls 13 and under event in Ballinasloe and her brother became national kata champion after winning his section in the boys 10 and under event. Niamh has now been invited to train on the national squad to compete for a place on the national squads to compete at the major WKF championships.
The competition took place on the 1st Nov where the Irish athletes competed against some of the best karate students in Europe. Niamh Maye came 5th in kata and 4th in her kumite event to earn a 5th place European ranking in the female u14’s.
David failed to maintain his ranking after failing to reach this year’s quarter finals in the men’s seniors after some really tough fights. And Eamonn Yore, Aoife Kelly and Leona McFadden all failed to reach the medals after putting up some heroic performances.
Ireland Wadokai chief instructor Tommy Marrett said; “Now that we’re back from Italy we can start looking and preparing for next year’s Europeans. Some of our younger athletes will have reached the minimum age of 12 and will now be able to be considered for a place on the Irish team allowing that their technique and fitness level will be of a standard that they can compete at European level. Those that have already competed in Europe now know what to expect and will have to train harder this year if they want to be in the medals next year.”
The Ireland Wadokai clubs of Blackrock, Tallanstown, Dromintee and Dundalk Institite of Technology, teach traditional Wadokai Karate and are part of and recognised by the Federation of Wadokai Europe.