North West Karate group win big in Belgrade at World Championships

The North West Karate Federation Team with hteir medals following their success at the World Championships.
The North West Karate Federation Team with hteir medals following their success at the World Championships.

Talented members from the North‌ ‌West‌ ‌Karate‌ ‌Federation‌ have won ‌20‌ ‌Medals‌ ‌at‌ ‌the World‌ ‌Karate‌ ‌Championships‌ ‌with four of its members returning from Belgrade as newly crowned‌ ‌World‌ ‌Champions.‌

‌On‌ ‌Thursday‌ ‌14‌th‌‌ ‌Nov‌ember‌, ‌12‌ ‌members‌ ‌of‌ ‌NWKF‌ ‌(10‌ ‌competitors‌ ‌aged‌ ‌from‌ ‌12‌ ‌to‌ ‌48,‌ ‌one‌ ‌coach‌ ‌and‌ ‌one‌ ‌senior‌ ‌referee)‌ ‌travelled‌ ‌to‌ ‌Belgrade,‌ ‌Serbia‌ ‌for‌ ‌ the‌ ‌WKC‌ ‌World‌ ‌Karate‌ ‌Championships.‌ ‌

The NI Team at Dublin Airport.

The NI Team at Dublin Airport.

They‌ ‌arrived‌ ‌at‌ ‌Hotel‌ ‌Serbia‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌rest‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌UKC‌ ‌Northern‌ ‌Ireland‌ ‌Team,‌ ‌making‌ ‌a‌ ‌total‌ national‌ ‌team‌ ‌of‌ ‌23.‌ ‌

This‌ ‌was‌ to be their‌ ‌base‌ ‌for‌ ‌five‌ ‌days,‌ ‌joining‌ ‌over‌ ‌150‌ ‌competitors‌ ‌from‌ ‌more‌ ‌than‌ ‌ 10‌ ‌countries‌ ‌who‌ ‌also‌ ‌stayed‌ ‌at‌ Hotel‌ ‌Serbia,‌ ‌which the team said ‌led‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌fantastic‌ ‌atmosphere‌ ‌throughout‌ ‌the‌ ‌ weekend‌ ‌with‌ ‌registration,‌ ‌coaching‌ ‌and‌ ‌referee‌ ‌courses‌ ‌held‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌same‌ ‌venue.‌ ‌

Faye‌ ‌Leonard‌ ‌won‌ ‌a‌ ‌silver‌ ‌medal‌ ‌in‌ ‌Ippon‌ ‌Kumite‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌bronze‌ ‌in‌ ‌Sanbon‌ ‌Kumite.‌ ‌This‌ ‌was‌ ‌a‌ ‌fantastic‌ ‌result‌ ‌as‌ ‌this‌ ‌was‌ ‌Faye’s‌ ‌first‌ ‌time‌ ‌away‌ ‌at‌ ‌an‌ ‌international‌ ‌event.‌ ‌

Jack‌ ‌McFadden-Hegarty‌ ‌won‌ ‌a‌ ‌silver‌ ‌medal‌ ‌in‌ ‌Cadet‌ ‌Boys‌ ‌Wado‌ ‌Kata,‌ ‌a‌ ‌gold‌ ‌medal‌ ‌in‌ ‌Sanbon‌ ‌Kumite‌ ‌and‌ ‌two‌ ‌bronze‌ ‌medals‌ ‌in‌ ‌Ippon‌ ‌and‌ ‌Sanbon‌ ‌team‌ ‌events.‌ ‌

Harry‌ ‌Doherty‌ ‌won‌ ‌a‌ ‌bronze‌ ‌medal‌ ‌in‌ ‌Cadet‌ ‌Boys‌ ‌Wado‌ ‌Kata,‌ ‌two‌ bronzes‌ ‌in‌ ‌Ippon‌ ‌and‌ ‌Sanbon‌ ‌team‌ ‌events.‌ ‌

John‌ ‌McFadden‌ ‌won‌ ‌a‌ ‌silver‌ ‌medal‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌Male‌ ‌Veteran‌ ‌Kata.‌ ‌ ‌

Celine‌ ‌McLaughlin‌ ‌won‌ ‌a‌ ‌gold‌ ‌medal‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌Female‌ ‌Veteran‌ ‌Kata.‌ ‌

Leah‌ ‌Strunks‌ ‌won‌ ‌an‌ ‌amazing‌ ‌three‌ ‌gold‌ ‌medals‌ ‌in‌ ‌Ippon‌ ‌and‌ ‌Sanbon‌ ‌Kumite‌ ‌and‌ ‌also‌ ‌gold‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌Team‌ ‌Cadet‌ ‌event.‌ ‌

The NI team on the podium in Belgrade, Serbia.

The NI team on the podium in Belgrade, Serbia.

Kate‌ ‌McLaughlin‌ ‌won‌ ‌a‌ ‌gold‌ ‌medal‌ in‌ the‌ ‌Team‌ ‌Cadet‌ event‌ ‌and‌ ‌bronze‌ ‌in‌ ‌Ippon‌ ‌Kumite.‌ ‌

Cormac‌ ‌Morrison‌ ‌won‌ ‌a‌ ‌silver‌ ‌medal‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌Team‌ ‌Sanbon‌ ‌event‌ ‌and‌ ‌bronze‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌individual‌ ‌Ippon‌ ‌event.‌ ‌

Sean‌ ‌Leonard‌ ‌won‌ ‌2‌ ‌bronze‌ ‌medals‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌senior‌ ‌men’s‌ ‌Ippon‌ ‌and‌ ‌Sanbon‌ ‌Team‌ ‌events.‌ ‌

Overall total

The‌ ‌NWKF‌ ‌collected‌ ‌a‌ ‌total‌ ‌of‌ ‌six gold,‌ ‌four‌ silver‌ ‌and‌ ‌10‌ bronze‌ ‌medals.‌ ‌The‌ ‌Northern‌ ‌Ireland‌ ‌Karate‌ ‌Team‌ ‌won‌ ‌overall‌ ‌a‌ ‌total‌ ‌of‌ ‌six‌ golds,‌ ‌11‌ ‌silver‌ ‌and‌ ‌19‌ ‌Bronze‌ ‌medals‌ ‌from‌ ‌a‌ ‌team‌ ‌of‌ ‌18‌ ‌Competitors.‌

It‌ was‌ ‌the‌ ‌best‌ ‌results‌ ‌the‌ ‌team‌ ‌have‌ ‌ever‌ ‌achieved‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌World‌ ‌Championships,‌ ‌finishing‌ ‌thi‌rd‌‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌ medal‌ ‌table,‌ ‌ahead‌ ‌of‌ ‌hosts,‌ ‌Serbia.‌

‌Only‌ ‌the‌ ‌Italian‌ ‌teams‌ ‌achieved‌ ‌more‌ ‌medals‌ ‌than‌ ‌the‌ ‌Northern‌ ‌Ireland‌ ‌Team.‌ ‌

A spokesperson for the North West Karate Federation said:

“The‌ ‌members‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌North‌ ‌West‌ ‌Karate‌ ‌Federation‌ ‌would‌ ‌like‌ ‌to‌ ‌thank‌ ‌all‌ ‌the‌ ‌parents,‌ ‌coaches‌ ‌and‌ ‌ local‌ ‌businesses‌ who ‌sponsored‌ ‌the‌ ‌team.‌ ‌Without‌ ‌their‌ ‌help‌ ‌the‌ ‌team‌ ‌would‌ ‌not‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌able‌ ‌to‌ ‌ achieve‌ ‌this‌ ‌remarkable‌ ‌result.‌ ‌Special‌ ‌thanks‌ ‌to‌ ‌Derry‌ ‌City‌ ‌and‌ ‌Strabane‌ ‌District‌ ‌Council‌ ‌who‌ ‌helped‌ ‌ with‌ ‌travel‌ ‌and‌ ‌accommodation‌ ‌costs‌ ‌and‌ ‌provided‌ ‌the‌ ‌team‌ ‌with‌ ‌membership‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌local‌ ‌sports‌ ‌ centres‌ ‌for‌ ‌training‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌past‌ ‌few‌ ‌months.‌ ‌

“Onwards‌ ‌and‌ ‌upwards‌ ‌for‌ ‌this‌ ‌amazing‌ ‌team‌ ‌with‌ ‌events‌ ‌ in‌ ‌Dublin,‌ ‌Scotland‌ ‌and‌ ‌Russia‌ ‌timetabled‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌team‌ ‌to‌ ‌compete‌ ‌in‌ ‌2020.‌”