LISBURN’S Craig Ryan struck gold at the recent NI Karate Championships, taking gold in both the technical and free fighting events.
As the curtain fell on a sensational summer of sport, the Northern Ireland Karate-Do Wado-Kai set the stage for an exciting autumn in their chosen art. At the recent national championships in Banbridge, they clinched a magnificent 12 championship titles, nine runners-up medals, and nine bronze medals.
Northern Ireland’s two British champions, Belfast’s James Brunton, and Lisburn’s Craig Ryan each did the double, winning gold in both the technical and free fighting events – Brunton in the senior male and Ryan in the cadet male.
In other events, Carryduff’s Liam Scott won a silver medal in the junior male section.
The NIKW also did themselves proud in the technical events - Carryduff’s Ben Devlin won a championship title in the boy’s over ten years’ section, and his team mate Jay McKnight a runners-up medal.
Pearse O’Callaghan won a championship title in the boy’s intermediate section; while Carrick’s David Coghlan and Benjamin McKee won a silver and bronze medal respectively in the male cadet section won by Craig Ryan. Carryduff’s Liam Scott won a bronze medal in the junior male event.
The medals were presented by special guest at the event, Upper Bann MLA, Jo-Anne Dobson. Thanking Mrs Dobson for her support for the governing body, the Northern Ireland Karate Board, President of Karate here, Oliver Brunton, reflected on a very successful national championships. “Our youngsters have enthralled us with the high standard of karate on display,” he remarked. “The Board has been working very hard to raise the level of karate in Northern Ireland, and the event in Banbridge has been a wonderful showcase for this.
“With the drive to promote karate’s inclusion in the Olympic Games in 2020, Northern Ireland has shown they are prepared to take up the challenge,” Oliver continued.
“Some of our top athletes will be taking part in the British open championships next month, when I have no doubt they will again do us proud,” he concluded.
Anyone who would like to learn karate at the Brunton’s School of Karate Excellence should visit www.irishkarate.com or call 028 90 616453.