Italian Open 2019
Junior Success at the Italian Taekwon-Do Open in Barletta.
As part of the continual development programme by the Republic of Ireland of Ireland Taekwon-Do Association, two junior black belts from GM Howard’s School competed at the recent Italian Open in Barletta on the south east of the country. The competition was organised by Fitsport Federazione Italiana Taekwon-Do ITF president Master Ruggiero Lanotte, and attracted competitors from Ireland, Slovenia, Romania, and Bosnia Herzegovina, as well all across Italy.
The two international competitors, Finn Howard and Max Cleary, wanted to build on their experience at the European Championships in Rimini, Italy, two months previously. Both competitors received the extra experience they travelled for and the positive results followed from some excellent performances. In patterns Mas Cleary won the 1st degree junior male black belt division, while Finn Howard topped the second degree division. Both competitors spared well with Max taking gold in the -57 kg event and the bronze in the heavier -63kg. Meanwhile Finn had to settle for silver (-51kg) in a frustrating final against his Italian opponent.
Overall it was a great June bank holiday weekend in the beautiful city of Barletta and the squad coached by Master Robert Howard now has its focus on the upcoming Slovenia Open in October.
Team Ireland Hanley Energy 2019
Grandmaster Howard’s students compete at the European Taekwon-Do Championships, Rimini, April 2019
Six members of our school represented Ireland at the 2019 European Taekwon-Do Championships, in Rimini, Italy. Well done to the following GM Howard students who competed so well for Ireland:
Ms Carla Kelly, Adam Hu, Mr Max Cleary, Mr Finn Howard, Mr Emmet O’Rourke, Mr Leon McSherry, Master Robert Howard (coach).
Special congratulations to Mr McSherry who took home silver in the Male 5th Degree patterns.
Team Ireland brought 11 competitors, 2 coaches and 2 international umpires to the European Taekwon-Do Championships in Rimini this month. The team which consisted of 8 juniors and 3 seniors were drawn from Taekwon-Do schools in Dublin, Tipperary and Galway. This was a relatively small squad compared to the European power houses of Russia (147 competitors), Ukraine (127) and Greece (125). However the team performed well and there was a clear improvement in Team Ireland’s standard. The incremental improvements were noticeable in both the patterns event and the sparring event.
Most of the team Ireland’s competitors got through at least one round in both patterns and sparring. The highlights were Mr Leon McSherry (Dublin) taking silver in the male 5th degree patterns event and Mr Alex Byrne (Dublin) winning a bronze in the junior male black belt -69kg sparring event. These performances gave Ireland a final ranking 17th out of 30 countries.
The team bonded well together and supported each other every day and the support from the parents made the coaches jobs easier and everyone was assigned jobs and monitored the rings and the timetable over events. This allowed the coaches to concentrate on preparing the competitors for their next match.
The improvements in the sparring event was as a result of the coaches bringing in former European and World Champion, Mr Konstantin Yurikov from Russia, as a consultant to our sparring development programme.
The next immediate goal is to prepare the team for the World Championships in Bulgaria in August 2019. The next phase of the development over the next 12 months is to continue the incremental improvement of the whole team and to target ‘A class’ tournaments to test the team’s improvements. The 2020 European Championships will be held in Prague, Czech Republic.
The coaches and team Ireland would like to thanks Hanley Energy for their support this year, without which this development and success would not be possible.