The North West Karate community recorded an impressive haul of nine European Championship medals at last weekend’s World Union Karate-Do Federation, Championships in Scotland.
Former European Champion, Denise Donaghy, returned with one Silver and two Bronze medals having reached the final of the Kata competition.
The Derry and Donegal squad consisted of members of the Aileach, Culmore and Quigley’s Point Karate clubs, Martin McCole, John Duddy, Shawn Barron, Mary Doherty, Dean Barron, Glen Barron, Laura Mc Glinchey and Denise Donaghey.
The competition was hosted in Irvine, Scotland and all the medals were won in the Kata and Kumite categories.
The largest success for the team was Burnfoot’s Donaghey, who won the UKFs only silver medal. Denise did so in the 60kilo category and won her bronze medals in the rotation team events.
The 21 year old’s was a remarkable feat considering she is best known for her fighting credentials than Kata.
Beaten at the quarter-final stage by Romanian girl Timea Szasz, Denise collected bronze in the team events. Her largest success came in the solo Kata category, where having reached the final, she was defeated by Dr. Judit Kresz from Hungary.
Asked what the success meant to her, Denise replied: “It’s nice, I have a growing collection of Silver and Gold medals at the house now. I’ve been doing this since I was four so I really love it and it’s always nice to lift medals.”
Denise’s Silver joins the Gold medal won at the European Championships in Portugal in 2010.
It has been a hectic few weeks for the student as she has just completed her honours Degree in Accountancy at Letterkenny Institute. In fact she learns her results tomorrow (Monday).
“I hope the winning streak continues,” she laughed. “It is all about job hunting now, not medals.”
“I do have to thank my parents though, because if it wasn’t for their support I wouldn’t be able to attend half the number of tournaments I do.”
Denise wasn’t the only positive from Irvine, as Mary Doherty, Paul Taylor and the Ireland Kata Team of Shawn Barron, Martin McCole and Paul Taylor were all beaten finalists.
Special mention must go to The Barron family. Father and son Shawn and Glen completed their own Bronze medal double in the individual Kumite competition.
Shawn lifted Bronze in the veterans’ section before watching son, Glen, do exactly the same in the u70kilo senior category moments later.
In fact the competition and the medal marked Glen Barrons first major Senior Championships. It wasn’t easy, as Denise Donaghy described the u70 senior category, as: “The toughest section of the entire Championships.”
Shawn Barron, who is also head coach of the UKF, then lifted a second bronze in the Kata veterans section. Derry’s Martin McCole also collected a third place medal in the veteran section.
Laura McGlinchy, as did Denise Donaghy, brough home an impressive two Bronze medals each in the rotation team events.
The Ireland Ladies Team of Denise Donaghey, Laura McGlinchey (Ulster Karate Federation), Ciara Dullaghan and Cathy McNulty both of the North West Shotokan Karate Union reach the semi-finals before losing to eventual European Champions Romania.
While the Ireland Mens Team of Dean Barron, Glen Barron, Martin McCole and Eathan O’Donnell were beaten by a strong English side in the first round.
Denise said she will now rest for some time in preparation for an open competition in London this July.