2008 Viking Cup International - Sweden
It was the ITA Juniors’ time to shine at this year’s Viking Cup, the 9th edition of the prestigious tournament, with the lion’s share of the medals being won by the talented youths from Cork, Shannon and Ratoath. Most notably Philip McAuliffe took Silver in –63kg Junior Male Black Belt Sparring and Bronze in I Dan Junior Male Patterns, a remarkable achievement, particularly in a competition where the patterns categories are over 24 people and the sparring system is run in a strenuous league system. Hayden Devoy took Bronze in the same sparring category, losing out narrowly to the Cork competitor in an exiting and closely fought Semi-Final.
There was delight and disappointment on Centre Stage where Vincent McInerney snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, after allowing his trailing opponent to score a clear head shot just at end of the bout. The electronic scoring changed instantly from 3-1 in his favour, to 4-0 to his opponent, and he graciously settled for Bronze. The LED system, used only on the elevated ring, served as an educational tool throughout the competition, for coaches, competitors and umpires alike and served to highlight the importance of warnings and fouls on the results of bouts.
With a complicated league system in place, the larger categories of Senior Competitors faced a mammoth challenge to even advance out of their pools, regardless of medal placings. In the Senior Female –58kgs Sabina Mason and Siobhan Kangataran both graduated successfully out of their pools and into the Quarter Finals, where they both narrowly lost out to the Polish Competitors; Ilona Dziala and Ania Siwinska respectively.
In the Senior Male –63kgs Luke Woods faced Rafal Olenski and Milosz Moskaluk after beating Jason Munro from Scotland. Both matches against the Polish competitors very tight and tactical with millimetres in the difference between a score and a miss, with Luke losing out on one well timed technique to each competitor and not enough time in the 2 minute bout to rectify his mistakes. Paul King qualified for the second pool, but was unable to secure a semi-final spot on this occasion having sparred a challenging group including Dawid Dudek and the eventual finalists; Felix Kelly and Rafal Olenski.
Hong Keat Looi had an inauspicious start to his competition in the –71kgs, with his category and first bout being called whilst he was still Coaching in a different ring. He overcame the hurried preparation and won his first round easily enough, and even qualified for the next pool by beating Iwan Clements from Chiel Rombout’s Koguryo Club. Unfortunately luck was not with Hong that day, as his category was intially scheduled to continue after lunch but was brought forward giving him yet another rushed start, this time with the decision going against him.
In the –80kgs Karl Kelly certainly had the trickiest pool, with both Michal Dziubicki and Daniel Dziala to beat in order to advance, and was unfortunately unable to do so within the 2 minute time frame. Darren Smith was also unable to advance from his pool, despite a seemingly successful spar against the Arto Ala-Haivala where the Swede took 4 flags. In a separate group, Paul Currivan won his first two matches against his Russian and Norwegian opponents quite comfortably, forcing the Russian to retire. He went on to the next round and lost in a close, low-scoring match against Daniel Dziala, with Paul scoring a clean and clear side kick right at the end but that unfortunately wasn’t enough to take the match.
Oto Mgeliashvili once again entertained the crowd with his ability to kick well over his opponents’ heads, and actually managed to land a couple of these daring shots, taking Silver in –80kg Senior Male 5th–3rd Kup Sparring.
Fiona Kangataran performed Kwang-Gae repeatedly to progress to the final of the Junior Female I Dan Patterns, taking Silver as she lost out to the sharp Finnish competitor, Tiia Kiviranta.
Fiona Gallagher continued her preparations for her upcoming 5th Dan grading by taking Bronze in the III-VI Dan Senior Female Patterns section. She successfully performed her pattern to completion and lost narrowly to Malgorzata Rogaczewska on 3 flags to 2 after the Polish competitor left out a number of movements.
Though the medal tally was low, particularly in light of the talent and experience representing the association, Coaches Mark Buckley and Adrian Byrne were pleased with the performance of the competitors and impressed with the overall event, and the ITA will certainly be bringing a squad to next year’s 10th Viking Cup.
Siobhan KangataranPosted by ITA Admin