FIVE West Cork martial artists certainly packed a punch at the Tae Kwon Do World Championships held in Birmingham this summer.
With two clubs in West Cork – Bandon and Innishannon – the talented team of Jack Payne, Conor Payne, David O’Donoghue, Charlie Payne and Orla Deasy-Walsh came home with four medals, including two gold, one silver and one bronze.
The team was coached by fifth degree black belt Steven Nyhan, and in the lead up to the event they trained five times per week, as well as competing in two competitions per month.
Charlie Payne (10), a young and energetic competitor, was first up and after a three-fight winning streak, he secured a bronze medal only to draw on the fourth fight and to lose by the narrowest of margins, a single point in extra time. Charlie is one to watch in the future.
In the junior black belt tag team event that involve three-man teams, the Irish team included David O’Donoghue, Conor Payne (both of Bandon and Innishannon TKD) and the third competitor was from Leinster TKD, Adam Ryan. The Irish team qualified for the final against England, and the team of David, Conor and Adam were impressive here as they won the gold medals on offer. On day two, Orla Deasy-Walsh (16) was making her first appearance on the big stage and advanced all the way to the final where she was pipped for gold in the dying seconds of her fight.
It was then Jack Payne’s turn in the U18 black belt division and, again, he impressed but was just defeated in the first round of a very competitive division. Jack was commended by his coach Steven Nyhan for assisting him all weekend in making sure all the other competitors were relaxed and ready.
The five West Cork athletes and their coach were guests at a reception held by Lord Mayor Mick Finn last week where he commended both competitors and coaches for their hard work in their community.
Training starts again at Innishannon Parish Hall from Monday, September 3rd where they train Mondays and Wednesdays, and in Coláiste na Toibhirte in Bandon from Tuesday, September 4th where they train Tuesdays and Thursdays and cater for juniors, teens and adults.