Success in Luxembourg for Blackrock Karate
John McGuinness wins Gold in Luxembourg
John McGuinness became the toast of Ireland winning Ireland’s first ever gold medal at the prestigious ‘Coupe Internationale de Kayle’ annual event in Luxembourg known as the ‘Kayle Cup’. This event hosted 830 competitiors over the 2 day event including the 15 strong Irish team, 9 whom were from the Blackrock (Dundalk) and Tallanstown (near Ardee) Ireland Wadokai Karate Clubs, 5 from Zanshin in Portarlington and 1 from Clondalkin.
Ireland Wadokai President and team coach Tommy Marrett said “John McGuinness had tough fights from strong European competitors all the way to the final, but showed his skill and fighting spirit through every second of every fight, never giving up even after picking up injuries in some of the bouts. I could see the potential in John shortly after he started karate a couple of years ago and it wasn’t long before he proved me right!”
Ireland Wadokai Kumite Coach David O’Donnell who was in John’s corner for the fights said “This is John’s 3rd International this year, competing in the Ardee International in April, Birmingham International in May and Luxembourg in October winning gold in all 3 competitions in the boys u12 kumite (fighting). And that’s not including the local and national competitions where he also won gold, silver and bronze medals. He’s a pleasure to train, always giving 100% effort.”
Hard fought competition
The rest of the Irish competitors all fought and competed well getting through several rounds before been defeated. They all done themselves proud and Niamh Maye who was also selected for the Irish European squad to compete in Italy found this a good platform to prepare for the European championships. Quinlan Maye and Conor Rafferty both reached the quarter finals in their events with Conor Rafferty achieving a 5th place ranking in the final ‘Kayle Cup 2014’ ranking system.
Brother and sister Gareth and Roisin Molloy from Blackrock and Amy Dennis from Dromiskin all performed well in their respective categories but failed to come away with any medals. Under the watchful eye of Coaches Paul Thackaberry and David O’Donnell other Irish competitors such as Rachael Slevin, Igor Ksiezuk, Kacper Askuntowicz, Karolina Askuntowicz and Orla Leniston put in super performances getting through several rounds before going out in a hard fought competition.
The under 14 competitiors all competed on the Saturday and the over 14, cadets and seniors competed on the Sunday including Dundalk man David O’Donnell, Masa Maye from Tallanstown and Shona Mulhern from Portarlington who won Irelands 2nd medal (Bronze) in the female under 16 kumite (fighting). After putting in a really good performance Masa Maye was beaten by a more experienced and senior competitor in the women’s seniors while David O’Donnell had to retire due to getting a broken nose in one of his bouts but found it good preparation for his European venture 2 weeks later. He was also heading to Italy as part of the Irish team to try and maintain his European ranking after reaching the quarter finals at last year’s European Championships in Hungary.