The ITA hosted a Tri-Nations international fight night in the Ashbourne GAA centre, Co. Meath on Saturday 14th September. The event featured junior & senior, male & female teams representing Ireland, Scotland & England. The teams competed in team patterns as well team sparring events, with a number of individual matches also scheduled, as well as a demonstration of fourth dan patterns. The event began at 3pm with preliminary rounds taking place ahead of the finals gala in the evening. The main event began at 6pm with a crowd of several hundred people from all over Ireland as well as Scotland & England there to witness the action. The competition took place on an impressive 12 x 12 metre raised stage with lighting units and a DJ making for an electric atmosphere for the spectators and athletes alike. The event featured umpires from Ireland, Scotland & England and the Jury President for the event was Master Pat O’Rourke, 7th Dan, while Master Kenneth Wheatley, ITA President presented the trophies to the winning teams.The first events of the evening featured the team patterns competition between Ireland & England, Ireland came out on top in the junior & senior females section as well as the make junior event. As there was no senior Irish male team pattern, the Irish junior team went up against the senior English team, with England taking the victory.
The team sparring events took place under the new ITF team sparring rules, meaning the match is decided by the number of ‘flags’ each team wins rather than the number of individual matches. This made for some very exciting matches with the result still not decided heading into the fifth match.
The teams involved were using the event as preparation for the upcoming World Championships in Benidorm, Spain next month. The Irish team, coached by Mr Stephen Cooley, Mr Adrian Byrne, Mr Stephen Ryan & Mr Paul King, put in a strong display taking victory in the Male & Female, junior & senior team sparring sections.
There was a high-standard of Taekwon-Do on display across all scetions with a number of well-known athletes on the English team including Zak Espi, Matt Cadle and former Irish Team member Shane O’Rourke, who is now living in London. The Scottish team also included the current -78kg European Champion Giles Browne. The Irish senior male team was made up of Mr Darren Smith, Mr Ross Smith, Mr Stephen Smullen, Mr Dylan Fitzgibbon, Mr Luke Woods & Mr Adam Shelley. While the senior Irish female team of Louise McCagh, Joanne Deegan, Sarah Lehane, Tricia Collins, Katy Laffan, Naomi Coonghe, Chloe Aboud, & Agnieszka Aziewicz, put in a strong performance in both patterns & sparring.
The final event of the night featured the Male senior sparring final between England & Ireland. It was a highly entertaining match with both teams vying for victory; Ireland took the win leaving Ireland in first place, England second & Scotland in third place.
The evening was a highly-entertaining success, allowing many spectators of all ages their first taste of Taekwon-Do competition at the highest level. The event also served as excellent preparation for for the World Championships. The next Tri-Nations event will be hosted by one of the other countries involved next year and is sure to be a highly-anticipated event.
Well done to host Mr. Cooley and his local team for organising the event. Special thanks to our referees on the night who travelled from England and all around Ireland for this event and worked very professionally throughout.
Posted by Carl Smullen