Karate Ireland National Eliminations, 22nd January 2017, Burnfoot, Co. Donegal
The Aileach Community Centre in Burnfoot, Co. Donegal played host to the latest round of the Karate Ireland qualification tournaments as the search continues for the nation’s very best representatives for the IKU World Karate Championships in Kilkenny this October.
Around 250 Karate-ka from children to veteran made the journey north from as far away as Cork and Waterford for the event, some looking to further secure their qualification points lead and some looking to get their first step on the points table. Regardless of which stage the hopefuls are at, with a place on the Irish National Karate Team 2017 at stake, the competition is really heating up.
Kata got things started in the morning with the officials working hard to balance giving everyone their chance to show why they deserve a place on the team, while keeping to a reasonable time schedule. They did however mange to do just that, a testament to the quality of the officials within Karate Ireland.
Two rounds in every division meant that the very best Kata people came to the top, and the outstanding displays of poise, precision and athleticism revealed a wealth of talent for Karate Ireland selectors to choose from.
As Kata came to an end Kumite began across the four tatami with some fantastic matches taking place. The movement, skill and timing of the athletes across all ages were simply outstanding. Many matches, particularly the finals ended with the narrowest of margins separating victor and vanquished so there really still is all to play for in the quest for team qualification points.
For now however the journey to a place on the team continues on and so for those seeking victory it’s back to the Dojo to prepare for the next round on the 19th of February. Waterford city will host that next round in the Crystal Sports Center with the final event returning to the CBS Sports Hall in Carlow on the 26th of March.
Keep an eye on www.karateireland.net for information on how to get involved in the selection process and of course you can follow the progress of the team from selection to the world championships itself with regular updates on the Karate Ireland Facebook Page.