Euros Success for Ireland

Euros Success for Ireland

The Irish Taekwon-Do Team returned home from the European Championships in Slovenia with an impressive haul of 3 Gold, 8 Silver and 12 Bronze medals. The squad of 34 competitors all performed to an exceptional level. Ireland was also repsresented by coaches; Mr. Stephen Cooley VI Dan, Mr. Niall Jones V Dan, Mr. Adrian Byrne V Dan, manager; Mr. Jack Sheehan II Dan and umpires Mr. Pat Barry VI Dan, Mr. Paul Delea VI Dan and Mr. Brian Behan IV Dan.

A full report from the ITA PRO's can be read by clicking on more.

Special Congratulations to Mr. Hong Looi, Ms. Chloe Aboud and Mr. Ryan Shelley - European Champions!! 

For a full report from the ITA PRO's click on more 

Senior Results

Junior Results

The Irish ITF Taekwon-Do Team was placed top 6 country on the overall standings in the recent 27th Senior and 18th Junior European ITF Taekwon-Do Championship, held in Maribor, Slovenia with 3 gold, 8 silver and 12 bronze medals. 486 competitors from 27 countries took part in this tournament held on the 20th to 22nd April 2012. 34 national competitors represented Ireland with 16 seniors and 18 juniors. We were accompanied by our national coaches Mr. Stephen Cooley, Mr. Niall Jones and Mr Adrian Byrne, our team manager Mr. Jack Sheehan, our 10 superb supporters, our umpires Mr. Paul Delea, Mr. Pat Barry and Mr. Brian Behan, as well as Master Brendan O'Toole and Master Val Douglas. A special mention must go out to coach Mr. Alan Troy and Mr. Kevin Hannigan and manager Mr. Ken Leahy, who could not join us on this trip. 


A very early morning Wednesday 18-April, the team departed from 3 main cities; Dublin, Cork and Shannon to all meet at London Stansted airport, before traveling together to Graz, Austria. There was a bus, which took us around 45 minutes from the airport to the final destination, Maribor, Slovenia. A massive thanks to the last minute arrangement from our great manager, Mr. Sheehan with the organising committee for our accommodation, Hotel Terme Maribor. Some of us even managed to get an hour light training session outside our hotel that evening.


On the Thursday 19-April morning, the whole team weighed in and registered. After rehydration and refueling, we did another hour light training session that afternoon while our Irish umpires attended the AETF Umpires meeting. Later that evening, our 3 national coaches had a 2 hour coach meeting and came back with the match drawings. After dinner, we had a team meeting where we were briefed by our coaches of our respective rings and opponents or of colours for those who chose not to know their opponents. It was an early night for most.

The tournament took place in a sports hall Lukna about 15 minutes from our hotel. Friday 20-April Day 1 started off with senior male and female individual and team patterns and individual power test as well as junior male and female sparring and individual special technique. In the senior female patterns, under I Dan, 2011 junior European Champion Katie Laffan returned this year as a senior, defeating Germany, however narrowly losing out in the quarter final to the eventual silver medallist from Slovakia. In the II Dan, also last year junior European Champion, Naomi Coonghe, advanced to the next round after defeating Italy. However, she was narrowly defeated by last year European Champion from Belgium, who eventually claimed her 2nd year in a row as European Champion. In the III Dan, the eventual silver medallist from Hungary narrowly beat Laura Cullen in the preliminary round. The female team pattern, with Laura Cullen, Naomi Coonghe, Shakira Coonghe, Katie Laffan, Agnieszka Aziewicz and Louise McCagh performed really well, however it was not strong enough to defeat Germany, settling for a bronze medal.

In the senior female special technique, Louise McCagh was tied with 2 other females with 3 hits out of 3 techniques. Unfortunately, Louise had to settle for a deserving bronze medal, as she was unable to complete the hit of the chosen technique with increased height.


In the senior male patterns, under I Dan, David Lynch lost his preliminary round to eventual bronze medallist competitor from Italy. Under II Dan, Luke Laffan, and under III Dan, Stephen Smullen both narrowly lost their respective preliminary rounds to the eventual silver medalist competitors from Italy and Norway respectively. Under IV Dan, last year vice-World Champion Mr. Stephen Ryan had a bye in the 1st round, defeated Norway in the quarter-finals, lost to the eventual European Champion from Poland in a nail biting semi-final just like a repeat of 2011 World Championship final in New Zealand. Bronze for Stephen Ryan.


In the junior female up to 45kg division, Niamh O'Sullivan defeated England and Romania to reach the final with Russia. However Niamh had to retire at the beginning of round 2 due to uncontrollable bloody nose against her Russian opponent in the final. Although ahead in points, she acknowledged her opponent graciously in a sporting manner and settled for silver medal. In the up to 55kg division, Ms Patricia Collins defeated Hungary in the 1st round, but was defeated by Poland in the quarterfinals. On the same section, returning junior European Champion, Chloe Aboud defended her title for the 2nd year in a row, surpassing, Bosnia and Herzogovina, Germany, Netherlands and Poland in the final. Congratulations to 2 times European Champion Chloe Aboud. In the up to 60kg division, last year junior European Champion Sarah Lehane had a really shaky start in her preliminary round, and although she made a good comeback in the 2nd round, it was not enough, losing to the eventual winner from Poland. In the over 60kg division, Kelly O'Donovan was narrowly defeated in the earlier round by eventual silver medallist from Norway while Anne Marie Torsney defeated Norway on the opposite side of the draw before narrowly losing out to the eventual winner from Slovenia. 

In the junior female special technique, both Aine Cregan and Chloe Aboud were tied with 5 other females with 2 hits out of 3 techniques. There were 2 other females, which got all 3 hits, which means Aine and Chloe could only settle for bronze. Unfortunately, the heights of the chosen technique was increased and both females were unable to complete the hit. Nevertheless, a massive effort on both Aine and Chloe.


In the junior male up to 50kg division, returning junior European Champion Ryan Shelley defeated Bulgaria, Italy and Russia before setting up an all Ireland final with Rostik Ivanchuk, who defeated England, Romania, Russia, and Russia again. In the same section, Dylan Murphy was narrowly defeated in the quarterfinal by Russia, after surpassing Romania. Congratulations to Ryan Shelley for 2 times European Champion.

In the up to 58kg division, Alex Plamadeala moved really well in his preliminary rounds, defeating Moldova and Romania, before losing in the semi finals to the eventual silver medallist from Ukraine, while Jamie Williams defeated Scotland before losing to the eventual gold medallist from Russia. Bronze to Alex. 

In the up to 63kg division, Colm Carroll performed superbly, defeating Ukraine and Poland, before losing out to the eventual winner from Slovenia. Bronze to Colm. 

In the up to 70kg, Adam Foley lost to Russia in the preliminary round, while 2 times world champion Dylan Fitzgibbon surpassed Italy, Scotland, Spain, Ukraine before losing to a controversial final to the hometown Slovenia in the evening gala. Silver to Dylan.


On Day 2 Sat 21-April, the schedule was reversed, this time senior male and female individual sparring and individual special technique as well as junior male and female individual and team pattern and individual power test. 

In the junior female patterns, under I Dan, Sarah Lehane performed superbly, reaching the quarter finals by defeating Slovenia, England and Germany before losing to the eventual winner from Norway. In the same division Nicole Moriarty and Tricia Collins were on the other side of the draw and also performed excellently to both reach the quarter final stages. In the II Dan, Chloe Aboud narrowly was defeated by a competitor from Spain.

The junior female team pattern, with Chloe Aboud, Sarah Lehane, Nicole Moriarty, Patricia Collins, Niamh O'Sullivan and Aine Cregan had a bye in the 1st round, defeated Scotland, but had to settle for bronze, losing to the eventual winner from Norway. 

In the junior female power test, it was a similar outcome like yesterday's junior female special technique, whereby both Katie Cooke and Anna Marie Torsney were tied with 3 other females with 2 breaks out of 3 techniques. Again, there were 2 other females, which broke all 3 techniques. This time, Anne Marie Torsney was triumphant in the chosen break, settling for bronze.

In the junior male patterns, under I Dan, Tiarnan Moriarty lost to Scotland in the preliminary round while in the II Dan, Jamie Williams defeated Ukraine and Italy, before losing out to Germany, settling for bronze. The junior male patterns, consisting of Adam Foley, Tiarnan Moriarty, Dylan Murphy, Alex Plamedeala and Jamie Williams performed very well, narrowly missed on the gold medal, defeating Poland and Norway, before losing to eventual winner from Germany.


In the senior female up to 52kg, Katie Laffan defeated Italy in the preliminary round. Katie picked up a lot of unnecessary warnings and lost to the eventual finalist from Slovenia, whom she had beaten 3 months earlier in Open Dutch Championship and the current world champion.

In the senior female up to 58kg, Louise McCagh performed well on the day, defeating Spain, Romania and England before narrowly losing to eventual winner from Poland. Silver to Louise.

In the senior female up to 63kg, Sabina Mason's strained lower back injury from the day before had really impeded her movement. Despite already beating her opponent from Sweden once in the INTA Irish Open, and then again the recent Viking Cup, she struggled to move, picking up a lot of warnings, eventually narrowly losing by 1 corner decision.

In the senior male up to 54kg, Eddie Dillon performed superbly, but lost out in the last few seconds to eventual finalist from Switzerland.

In the senior male up to 71kg, Hong Looi surpassed Bosnia and Herzogovina, Finland, Norway and Spain before setting up a final with his nemesis from hometown Slovenia in the evening gala. Hong Looi had previously lost his last World Championship title in New Zealand and last European Championship in Slovakia to the same competitor. Even though the support from hometown Slovenia was so massive with fireworks and drum playing, the supports from our Irish supporters as well as other countries were even more electrifying. The fight was very intense right from when the bell started, with Hong Looi, triumphant this time. Gold medal and European Champion Hong Looi.

In the senior male up to 80kg, Darren Smith was moving really well, especially having come 2nd place in recent Viking Cup tournament 3 weeks earlier. He had some unfortunate decisions, with referees not scoring a couple of his headshots, leaving him narrowly defeated against Ukraine.

In the senior male over 80kg, Shane O'Rourke fought past Scotland and Norway in the earlier round, before narrowly losing to the eventual winner from Poland. Bronze for Shane.


On final Day 3 Sun 22-April, the schedule was junior and senior team sparring. Our junior female team represented by Chloe Aboud, Patricia Collins, Sarah Lehane, Kelly O'Donovan, Niamh O'Sullivan and Anne Marie Torsney. Our junior females defeated Hungary and Germany, before losing out in the evening gala final to Norway. Silver for the girls - Well done!

Our junior male team was represented by Colm Carroll, Dylan Fitzgibbon, Adam Foley, Alex Plamadeala, Ryan Shelley and Jamie Williams. Despite having a bye in the 1st round, our boys had a tough preliminary round against eventual winner from Slovenia. Another controversial decision in the final 5th bout causing Ireland to narrowly lose out 1 win-1 draw-3 losses. Hard luck, but well done boys!

Our senior female team was represented by Sabina Mason, Louise McCagh, Naomi Coonghe, Shakira Coonghe, Katie Laffan and Agnieszka Aziewicz. Our senior females defeated Scotland and Hungary, before narrowly losing out to Poland in semi-finals. Bronze for the girls – Well done!

Our senior male team was represented by Darren Smith, Stephen Ryan, Ross Smith, Stephen Smullen, Shane O'Rourke, and Hong Looi. Our senior males also lost out to eventual finalist Germany 6-4 with 2 of the results overturned by dubious and incorrect warnings given at the end. Hard luck, but well done boys! Special mention to Ross Smith, who travelled to compete in team sparring and won his match comprehensively but unfortunately for him and his teammates we could not progress through to the next round.


It was a very proud tournament for the whole Ireland team on their superb performances and professional sporting attitudes throughout the whole tournament. A massive congratulation to the junior females: Niamh O'Sullivan, Patricia Collins, Kelly O'Donovan, Anne Marie Torsney, Aine Cregan and Katie Cooke as well as junior males: Rostik Ivanchuk, Dylan Murphy, Alex Plamadeala, Colm Carroll, Adam Foley and Tiarnan Moriarty and senior male: Luke Laffan for their outstanding performances in their 1st major championship. Despite Ireland being placed top 6 country in this European Championship in comparison to previous top 2, we are confident that the next target will be breaking back into the top 2 Nations at the European Championships in Ukraine in 2013, especially with quite a lot of our experienced juniors moving into senior divisions. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our national coaches, team managers, and our fantastic supporters. A special thanks goes out to Mr. Tomaz Barada and the Slovenian representatives for their great hospitality to the Ireland team. A big thank you to the ITA association for their financial contributions to the national players. Most of all, a massive thank you goes out to the tireless referees, juries and organizing committees for a well-run tournament.


Sabina Mason III Dan & Hong Looi IV Dan


Posted by Stephen Ryan