Dutch Open Report

Dutch Open Report

A big congratulations to all athletes who participated in the recent Open Dutch on 23rd Jan 2012.

The competition was held in "Naestebest" stadium, very close to Eindhoven airport. A well organised tournament held by Master Willy van de Mortel and Mr. Henny van Zon. The competition was held over one day with participants ranging from colour to black belts, a total of 548 competitors. There were 77 referees helping the day to run smoothly, with six rings lead by Mr. Patrick den Hoed and Master Sandy Dunbar. There were competitors from national, European and World standard, from Ireland, Netherlands, Slovenia, Ukraine, Belgium, Poland, Germany, Norway, Italy, Finland and Scotland.
Ireland showed a high standard in Tul where Mr. Hong Looi IV degree bet former 2010 European Champion and 2011 vice-European champion, Mr. Massimo Persia in the semi-finals, winning his way through to the gold medal. In male senior 3rd degree patterns, the semi-final was a very tense moment when the new upcoming senior Mr. Dylan Fitzgibbon was up against Mr. Stephen Smullen. Although both competitors showed good strength and power, Mr. Smullen's experience prevailed on the day taking home bronze medal. Also a congratulation to Mr. Luke Laffan, who fought his way to a silver medal in 2nd degree patterns. Welcoming a new senior to female patterns Ms. Katy Laffan showed her recently crowned junior European Champion standard, taking a gold in senior 1st degree patterns. Chloe Aboud showed her great technical ability taking home the gold in junior 2nd degree patterns.
It was a very proud day for Ireland the performance and skill of all athletes; all participants showed professionalism in their sport and oozed passion. Well Done once again. 
Irelands Tul medal tally : winning 3 golds , 1 silver and 1 bronze
- By Ms. Sabina Mason III degree
Ireland also showed an extremely high standard in the sparring division, winning 5 golds and 2 silvers.
In the junior division, Isabelle Aboud was mixed in with the boys –140cm A class sparring! Ms. Aboud showed no fear, but good tactical sparring winning 2 matches, before narrowly losing in the final, settling for a silver medal. Sister, Ms. Chloe Aboud, recently crowned European Champion reciprocated by winning her division –55kg.  Ryan Shelley had very tough matches, but showed the crowd why he was European Champion by winning his division –52kg. It was a repeat of 2011 World Championship final –63kg division in New Zealand, whereby Mr. Dylan Fitzgibbon defeated the finalist Hedi Zan from Slovenia, once again in a nail biting final this time a division up in the –70kg division. Mr. Adam Shelley was unfortunately unable to participate in the tournament due to catching his flight.

In the –52kg division, Ms. Katy Laffan's toughest match, coached by Ms. Sabina Mason, was beating current 2011 World Champion Ms. Stasa Lubej, from Slovenia, in the semifinals on a sudden death match, proceeding to the final. On the other side of the draw, Ms. Bianca Pantel, had a shaky start in the preliminary rounds, however, showed her experience as the 2011 vice-European Champion, also proceeding to the final. Both fighters, from the same club, contested in the final without a coach (a decision made by coach Ms. Sabina Mason), with Ms. Bianca Panel edging slightly ahead, taking home the gold and Ms. Laffan settling for a well-deserved silver. In the –71kg division, Mr. Hong Looi, had 4 very tough matches before beating finalist Brian van de Brand, from Netherlands. The winners in the A class sparring and Tul all got a T-shirt from the competition. Unfortunately, the division for Ms. Sabina Mason, Mr. Darren Smith and Mr. Stephen Smullen just started as we were ready to depart for the airport to catch the flight. Least to say, this was a very unfortunate event, as there would have been potentially 3 more medals to add to the tally and 3 more great Irish fighters throwing shapes in the ring! 
A massive thanks to coach Ms. Sabina Mason for assisting all the females to their golden victories and, Mr. Darren Smith and Mr. Stephen Smullen for assisting the boys to their respective victories.
A special thanks to organiser Master Willy van de Mortel and Mr. Henny van Zon for their invitation and superb hospitality. We hope to bring a bigger crowd to the Open Dutch Championship 2013.
-By Mr. Hong Looi IV Degree

Well done to the ITA competitors who competed in the Dutch Open 2012 on Sunday Jan. 22nd


Chloe Aboud Gold Junior 2nd Dan Female Patterns
Chloe Aboud Gold Junior -55kg Female Sparring
Katy Laffan Gold Senior 1st Dan Female Patterns
Hong Looi Gold Senior 4th Dan Male Patterns
Hong Looi Gold Senior -71kg Male Sparring
Ryan Shelley Gold Junior -52kg Male Sparring
Dylan Fitzgibbon Gold Junior -70kg Male Sparring
Pantel Bianca Gold Senior -52kg Female Sparring
Katy Laffan Silver Senior -52kg Female Sparring
Luke Laffan Silver Senior 2nd Dan Male Patterns
Issabelle Aboud Silver Youth -140cm Female Sparring
Stephen Smullen Bronze Senior 3rd Dan Male Patterns




Posted by Stephen Ryan