West Cork kickboxers pack strong punch at Europeans

September 25th, 2017 4:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Six of the best: West Cork Kickboxing Club head coach Ian Kingston, left, pictured with the five local fighters who represented Ireland at the recent WAKO Junior and Older Cadet European Kickboxing Championships; from left, Grainne Begley, Hannah Green, Ian O'Flynn, Luc Cronin and Gearoid Debarbouil

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WEST Cork’s top young kickboxers brought home five medals from the recent WAKO (World Association of Kickboxing Organisations) Junior and Older Cadet European Kickboxing Championships.

Five members of West Cork Kickboxing Club travelled to Skopje in Macedonia as part of the Irish national team – and each of them more than held their own in a competition that was held over an eight-day period and attracted over 1600 kickboxers from all over Europe.

The five West Cork club fighters – Luc Cronin, Grainne Begley, Hannah Green, Ian O’Flynn and Gearoid Debarbouille – were fighting in two divisions, in different weight categories. 

The temperatures were in the low thirties, and the heat in the arena was energy sapping. However, West Cork Kickboxing Club’s fighters were well prepared for it, and over the eight days of the championships put up some fantastic displays in Continuous Contact and Low Kick.

In the Older Cadet category, Luc Cronin fought his way to the final in low kick and triumphed over an excellent French opponent to claim gold. 

Ian O’Flynn fought tremendously well throughout, and was narrowly beaten in the final in continuous contact but he still won a fantastic silver. 

Gearoid Debarbouille had some excellent fights and claimed bronze in his continuous contact category. Grainne Begley, who moved up to junior this year, fought extremely well and was also just narrowly beaten in continuous contact. Hannah Green fought magnificently to bring home two bronze medals in continuous and low kick. 

For Luc, Ian, Hannah and Gearoid, this was their first international competition and their performances were fantastic, which bodes very well for the future.  West Cork Kickboxing Club Head Coach Ian Kingston stated he was proud of his fighters and all the hard work and dedication they had put in throughout the year, and said he was delighted with all of their performances.

Ian’s attention now turns to the club’s senior national team members, Deirdre Begley, Lily de la Cour, Tony Stephenson and Catherine MacGregor, who will be competing in the WAKO Senior World Kickboxing Championships to be held in Budapest, Hungary in November. 

The club would like to thank its sponsors, The Brick Oven, Calor Gas, and Laide & O’Brien for their continued sponsorship and support, which has helped to make this success possible.

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