World Cup Report
The ITF World Cup took place in Brighton, England from the 4th to the 7th of October. This was the largest ever ITF event in history with 1557 competitors taking part including a team representing the Irish Taekwon-Do Association made up of 142 competitors. The World Cup is an event open to all competitors of blue, red & blackbelt from 12 years old up to 46 years & older and the ITA was well represented across all ages & grades.
The opening ceremony took place on Thursday morning, beginning with representatives from each team marching through the arena including members of the ITA team in the distinctive yellow & black ITA tracksuits. This was followed with an opening address from Grandmaster Trajtenberg and the senior masters & Grandmasters in attendance being introduced.
The competition proper began at 10:30am with colour belt sparring & blackbelt patterns as well as special technique. Ireland was well represented in these divisions. Some of the highlights from the day included Maeve Magee of Integrity Martial Arts taking gold in the 12 – 14 jumping front kick competition while Sky Slattery of Shannon took Silver in the flying side kick competition. Louise Mc Cagh took bronze in the front kick as well as gold in the Senior Female Side kick while Agnieszka Aziewicz took Bronze in the side kick. In the advanced senior section, Fiona Gallagher-Payet took Gold in the front kick & bronze in the side kick, while Donal O’Donaghue took Gold in the male side kick competition. Ireland’s Pat Barry added to the special technique medals taking silver in the veteran Jumping front kick section.
Friday was the day for blackbelt sparring & colour-belt patterns as well as pre-arranged sparring. There were many impressive performances from the ITA competitors on this day with Rostik Ivanchuk, Sarah Lehane, Pat Barry and Tim Forde amongst those booking their places in the finals, while other ITA competitors such as Shane O’Rourke, Richie Forde, Adam Shelly, Stephen Ryan & Phil O’Gorman advanced through many rounds with several impressive performances.
Saturday was the day for finals & Semi-Finals. Finals for colour belts, juniors & over 35’s took place during the day, with Ireland was well represented in these finals adding many Gold & Silver medals to the Irish medal tally. These included Chloe Aboud who took Gold in sparring & silver in junior 2nd Dan patterns and Rostik Ivanchuk who took gold in the junior -55kg section where Ryan Shelley also took a bronze medal. Nicole Moriarty of Quin TKD was also amongst the gold medalists beating New Zealand in the finals of junior 1st Dan patterns. The ITA also had several competitors amongst the colour belt medallists including Daniel Donnelly, Jake Sheehan and Dervala Campion Kennedy.
The senior blackbelt finals where held as part of a Gala event on centre ring on Saturday evening. The arena was filled with over 2000 spectators for what was sure to be an exciting night of finals. The event was also streamed online with a viewing audience of approximately 45,000. The ITA was well represented in the finals with Dylan Fitzgibbon facing off against Martin Gadea of Argentina. In a close fought match, Dylan just missed out on the win, taking Silver, an excellent achievement on his senior debut. While Louise Mc Cagh of Shannon Taekwon-Do met Agnieszka Aziewicz of Dublin ITF in the final of -58kg female sparring. Agnieszka took Gold this time after an exciting final, gold & silver for the ITA team.
Sunday was the last day of competition and was reserved for team events as well as power breaking.
In the male divisions, the ITA was represented by three senior blackbelt teams as well as a veteran team. The veteran team took gold after victory in the final against a strong Argentinian team. In the female divisions the senior ITA team took on Poland while two junior female teams represented Ireland with one of the teams beating Scotland and Norway before facing off against a Polish team in the final, where they took gold. In the blackbelt 12 – 14 team sparring sections there were bronze for the Irish Team as well as gold for the Irish female team. The colour belt teams also displayed great skills with the 15 – 17 female team beating Poland to take gold, while the male team took Bronze.
The 2012 ITF World Cup proved to be a very successful championships for the Irish Taekwon-Do Association team with a final medal tally of 21 Gold, 17 Silver & 20 Bronze medals. This placed Ireland Number One out of 163 schools & association in attendance from around the world. ITA competitors Louise McCagh and Chloe Aboud also took home the awards for best overall senior and junior female competitors respectively. These fantastic achievements are as a result of a lot of hard work & dedication from many athletes, coaches & instructors from around the country. It also highlights the depth of quality throughout all ages and grades within the Irish Taekwon-Do Association. Congratulations must be paid to all our medallists (too many to mention in this report) as well as all competitors who took part.
The ITA would like to make special mention of our umpires who attended the event and worked tirelessly over very long days as part of the umpire team; Master Patrick O’Rourke, Mr. Paul Delea, Ms. Ann Curran, Mr. Jack Sheehan and Ms. Jeanne Byrne as well as umpire assistants; Ms. Rachel Kennedy and Mr. Jason Murphy.
Report by Mr. Carl Smullen IV Dan, ITA PR Officer
Posted by Stephen Ryan