Irish Cup 2012 Report
The Irish Taekwon-Do Association hosted the 2012 Irish Cup in the University of Limerick Arena on the 17th & 18th of November. Saturday 17th was for cadets (14 – 17) and seniors, while those under-14 years of age competed on the Sunday. The full arena was used with four rings in operation on the Saturday & seven rings working on Sunday. This was one of the largest tournaments to be run by the ITA with 500 competitors from Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Italy, Finland and France. The tournament was also attended by Grandmaster Paul Cutler from Northern Ireland, Master George Vitale from New York as well as the ITA’s own Master Kenneth Wheatley, Master Pat O’Rourke and Master Neil Franks.
The ITA tournament committee of Mark Buckley, Adrian Byrne, Stephen Ryan and Laura Cullen put in a lot of work to ensure the event ran seamlessly, with a new record finish time of 3pm on the Sunday. They were ably assisted by a team of volunteers who helped to set up the arena on both days as well over 60 umpires and ring assistants over the course of the weekend.There was a high quality on display across all sections, including many world & European championship medallists. This included the Senior Male 4th dan patterns section where Stephen Ryan took Gold, Hong Looi took Silver & Stephen Smullen took Bronze as well as the -56 junior blackbelt section where double European champion Ryan Shelley won Gold narrowly defeating 2012 World Cup champion Rostick Ivanchuk.
The blackbelt sparring divisions worked on a requalification and pool system which ensured all competitors got a number of matches. Former junior European champion Adam Shelly showed great form winning the -70kg senior blackbelt section, while in the -78kg section, Stephen Smullen beat Marcin Oworuszko in the final while John Moffitt took third place. The -85kg section was won by Richie Forde after winning a tie-break match against Shane O’Rourke who took Silver. In the -50kg sparring section Katy Laffan took Gold after victory against Naomi Coonghe who took silver while Kim Amprazis of Frolunda TKD of Sweden won bronze. In the female -62kg senior blackbelt section Agnieszka Aziewicz won Gold after wins against Louise Mc Cagh & Sabina Mason who both took silver & bronze respectively.
After the competition, two senior blackbelt competitors where selected at random for drug-testing by the Irish Sports Council Anti-Doping Unit. This marks another step forward in professionalism for ITA tournaments and our athletes. ITA as members of the Irish Martial arts Commission and as a Governmment recognised body for ITF Taekwon-Do are compliant with the WADA anti-doping code and as such athletes may be selected at random for drug-testing at ITA tournaments. The best overall senior male at the 2012 Irish Cup was shared between Marcin Oworuszko of Dublin ITF (2 Gold 1 Silver) & Richie Forde of North Mon (2 Gold, 1 Silver). The best overall female competitor was Agnieszka Aziewicz from Dublin ITF, who won Gold in Sparring & Patterns and Silver in both special technique & power. Alex Plamadeala from Blanchardstown TKD shared best overall junior male competitor with David Gray from Master Hutton Black Belt Academy in Scotland who both won 2 golds and 1 silver. While the best overall female junior was awarded to Ann-Marie Torsney of IMAA who won Gold in sparring & power and took silver in special technique
The 2012 Irish Cup raised the bar once again for ITA tournaments; the level of professionalism in the running of the event combined with the standard of competition on display was outstanding. Thank you must go to the ITA tournament committee who organised and ran the event, as well as all the umpires, competitors, coaches and spectators who helped to make the event such a success.
Report by Mr. Carl Smullen ITA PR Officer