Rory is karate golden boy

Rory is karate golden boy

15 August 2018

DUNDRUM’S Rory Kavanagh has won gold at the WIKF European Karate Championships last weekend. 

The championships were held in Braga, Portugal and Rory felt from the start that this was his year. He had already won European and World silver medals in his weight category, but the gold medal had so far eluded him.

First up against Rory was an Italian opponent who was winning 5-3 with only four seconds remaining in the bout. Kavanagh pulled off an absolutely fantastic reverse roundhouse kick which gave him the further three points, leaving his opponent completely mesmerised as he had been sure he had the bout won. 

The next two bouts were against opponents from Belgium who Rory dispatched 7-1 and 4-1 respectively. Then on to the final, with Rory now full of confidence. 

He dispatched his Cypriot opponent 4-0 to finally make that gold medal his own and his next big outing is at the World Karate Federation (WKF) championships in Madrid this November with Karate Ireland. 

He is continually building on his point requirement to hopefully make the qualifications for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It is a hard task as only 80 competitors (40 male + 40 female) worldwide are eligible to compete. 

As a minority sport, karate gets very little funding and Kavanagh has a Go Fund Me page where people can help him with much-needed funding.

Along with Kavanagh at the meeting were other Downpatrick Karate Club members representing Northern Ireland.

Thirteen year-old Milo Crean from Teconnaught won bronze in his category.

This was his first international tournament and winning a medal at that level was a fantastic achievement. Milo’s sister Frieda also competed along with Adam Shannon from Downpatrick and Ryan McEvoy from Ardglass, but no other medals returned with the squad. 

The build-up now begins for the WIKF World Champions in London next year where hopefully the squad can add to their World medal tally. 

The squad train at Downpatrick Leisure Centre and if anyone would like to train with them, contact the Downpatrick instructor Noel Kavanagh through Downpatrick Leisure centre or Facebook Downpatrick Karate.