Club shines with medal count

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

NINE athletes from Banbridge/Rathfriland Karate Club travelled to Ardee to compete in the Irish Open Karate Championship.
As in previous years, there were over 600 competitors in the event from all over the British Isles and further afield. The club came back with two silvers and five bronze, which was a fantastic return for the members who made the journey over the border. Young Ben Robinson was the star of the show just losing out by a single point in the final to win a silver. On the way to the final Ben had four very hard fights and is having a brilliant season. The next silver was picked up by Victoria Bushby in the senior girls' category. Yet again Victoria came through in the medal department, narrowly missing out on gold to a very experienced Irish fighter. Rhys McDonnell was the club's next medal winner. This time it was a bronze in the senior men's category. Being the youngest in the group, it was always going to be a tall order but to come back with a bronze was a great result in a hard-hitting section with tough fights. Not to be outdone by her younger brother, Rachel McDonnell was on the mat next and she lifted a bronze medal for her section. Again, there were some hard and physical fights with some of the girls hitting as hard as the men. So well done Rachel in a hard group. Steven Liggett was the only club member to come home with two medals, both bronze in the senior men's and the veterans categories. Stephen is in great form and is winning titles and medals in almost everything he enters. The medals won on this occasion were both won by determination and focus and in both categories, he lost out to the eventual winner. The last of the medals was won by young Matthew Devlin and again a bronze was the result for his hard work and determination. This was Matthew's first international and he definitely did not let himself down with what can only be described as a brilliant display. Going through each round he showed he was there to win and is without doubt one to watch. The club's other competitors on the day were Ellie Mortiboy, who was just one fight away from a medal position and was unlucky not to have went further. Arlen Steenson was in the biggest group with over 30 competitors and winning two fights, but unfortunately lost out in the third round. Nikkala Pokojski, like Arlen, was in a massive group with 30 athletes in it and she also won her first two fights and just went out in round three. Thanks to Trevor, Matthew, Colin, Teresa and Ann for coaching and travelling with the team on what was a very long day and to the parents who also attended the competition. Banbridge training times are Monday night from 7pm to 8.30pm in Bridge PS and on Saturday mornings from 9.30am to 11am in the leisure centre. Rathfriland's training time is Wednesday night from 6.30pm to 8pm. More details about the club can be found on their Facebook page BandRKC.


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