Sunday 22 April 2018 09:39:16 AM

Downpatrick Karate School Collect Four World Class Medals
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Three members of Downpatrick Karate School represented Northern Ireland at the 8th WIKF World Karate Championship 2017, Curacao in the Caribbean. 

The event which is run over three days brings together the best karateka in the World, and Downpatrick Karate can hold their own against them.

Downpatrick Karate Club contestants Ryan McEvoy, Adam Shannon and Rory Kavanagh collected four medals at the world championships in Curacao.

Ireland squad coach and Downpatrick Club instructor Noel Kavanagh (4th Dan black belt) said: “This achievement must definitely be a record. Not only were all three competitors representing Northern Ireland chosen from the Downpatrick club, which is an achievement in itself, but for the lads to win four world medals has to have topped any past achievements… even their fantastic three medal win at the last European Championships.

“Day 1 saw 11-year old Adam Shannon (Downpatrick) win a gold medal in Kumite (free fighting) and a Bronze in Kata (pattern forms). This was Adam’s second international championronships, after winning a Bronze medal at the European Championships, and will certainly be one to remember for him.

“On Day 2, 17-year old Ryan McEvoy from Ardglass won a bronze medal in a very exciting -60kg free fighting category. This medal again adds to Ryan’s European Silver medal.

“Following this, 23-year old Rory Kavanagh from Dundrum went on to win Silver in the -67kg category. That is the fourth year in a row that Rory was a medal winner in that category (2014 Silver, 2015 Bronze and 2016  Bronze and now 2017 Silver). Gold is beckoning, so maybe next year.”

Both sets of parents had travelled to the Caribbean to support the lads and Rory Kavanagh’s father Noel is the main driving force in the Downpatrick club who also accompanied the contestants. The finals were live streamed for people back home in Northern Ireland. Also, the enthusiastic international crowd seemed to be drawn to supporting the Downpatrick club members.

Noel Kavanagh added: “The squad have the Karate Ireland championships this Saturday in Dublin after which they start back training in preparation for next year’s European Championships in Braga in Portugal where they will confidently take on some of the best karate exponents in Europe.

“With Karate in the Olympics Tokyo 2020 for Sport Council and WKF recognised competitors, we are working and training hard to make it possible for our athletes to compete at the highest level.

“Realistically there are currently only 2 or 3 athletes from Northern Ireland with any possibility of competing at the Olympics and we are happy to say one of these athletes trains at Downpatrick Karate.”

Follow the club on Facebook: Downpatrick Karate

or if anyone wants to train with the club in weekly classes at Downpatrick Leisure Centre on Sunday from 3pm and Monday 7pm, just come along to the sessions.