KARATE: Ryan takes gold at Irish Open in Dublin

Craig Ryan, who took Gold in the first ever Irish International Karate Open championship in Tallaght, Dublin, pictured with his proud mum, Noreen who has supported him constantly since he started training 11 years ago.
Craig Ryan, who took Gold in the first ever Irish International Karate Open championship in Tallaght, Dublin, pictured with his proud mum, Noreen who has supported him constantly since he started training 11 years ago.

With Karate set to make its first appearance as an Olympic sport at the 2020 Games, the standard at the competition in Dublin was extremely high.

Indeed, the Irish Open attracted large teams from England and Scotland with smaller teams from Portugal, Slovenia and Canada, to name a few, also making the trip to Ireland in order to hone their skills.

The tournament had a large entry with over 500 athletes competing for titles in approximately 50 categories, including 12 inclusive categories for disabled athletes.

And 19 year-old Craig, who has been practising karate since he was eight, won gold in the Men’s Senior kumite -75kg division.

He also fought in the Male Under 21 yrs -75kg division and was narrowly beaten in the final to take home a silver medal.

Siobhan Leckey, Craig’s karate instructor said that she was delighted with his performance and is keen for Craig to keep competing at high level competition.

The Ophir Karate club member will be going to Berlin to take part in the Banzai Cup on September 17th and later in the year he will be taking part in the Federation of European Wado-Kai championship in Belgium.

Unfortunately, he narrowly missed out on being selected to represent Ireland at the World Karate Federation Championship in Linz, Austria on October 30th-31st but with this recent success, he will certainly have enhanced his profile to strengthen his chances of selection for next year.

Craig’s goal is to be selected to represent Ireland at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.