South Dublin Taekwondo

Generation 24, Region 2 Qualifier 2020

Emma Cahill was South Dublin Taekwondo’s first athlete to be back in competition this year. Experimenting with the higher weigh of -44kg Cadet Female, Cahill came out on top of her division securing her first gold of the year. The event run in Sindelfingen, Germany was a newly introduced event called ‘World Taekwondo Europe Generation 24 Championships’. The Generation 24 event organizers note, ‘ Among the objectives of Taekwondo Europe is to remain the leading Continental Union in the Olympic Games. Therefore, the upcoming taekwondo generation representing Europe in the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 is in the spotlight, ensuring that its competency and taekwondo level skills will bring more ‘Olympic’ recognitions. On that account, Taekwondo Europe introduces ‘Generation 24’ ; a project targeting to develop taekwondo Kids and Cadets. ‘Generation 24’ includes the implementation of regional Childrens and Cadets events, enhancing in this way the progress and advancement of these age categories and their future inclusion to the elites of taekwondo.’

Cahill came out top in her region of the new tournament with a trio of victories over athletes from Switzerland, Germany & Ireland with scores of 13-5, 7-5 & 25-4 respectively. With support from back home watching on the live stream they were firmly kept on the edge of their seat as Cahill pulled back a 4-5 deficit in the closing seconds of the semi-final, hitting her German opponent with a critical had kick to take the win. The event will help the 13 year old youngster to gather momentum for upcoming events in Sweden & USA as Cahill carves out her final busy year as Cadet before transitioning to Junior in 2021.

Korean Ambassadors Cup 2019

Tallaght Leisure Centre was the host venue for the prestigious Korean Ambassadors Cup 2019 which saw 400 entrants take part in the 2 day Taekwondo Extravaganza. The event which was opened by a spectacular acrobatic demonstration by the Taekwondo Peace Corps was the final event in local club South Dublin Taekwondo’s’ calendar. Day 1 was composed of the non-combative sport discipline ‘Poomsae Competition’ [Forms]. SDTKD fielded a 20 strong team of Poomsae athletes from beginner advanced in individual competition, pairs [one male & female synchronised] and team [three same (more…)

Paris Open 2019

In her last event of a busy 2019 Emma Cahill wrapped up her competitive year with a bronze medal at the Paris Open. The event which is known as one of the largest populated events in the World Circuit added cadet age categories to the event for the first time permitting Cahill to travel with her older team mates. The new cadet age categories did not disappoint, as the centrally located country had many visiitors from the countries they share borders with & further afield as far as Japan, Usa and Australia all congregated at the beautiful venue – The Grand Dome on the outskirts of the city . The 13 year old cadet athlete showed why she is known as one to watch on the European Circuit after an excellent display. With little to play for the remainder of the year, Emma travelled with plans to adapt and try out some new approaches in her match play. Emma had a bye in her opener followed by a quarter final match with Germany’s Lilly Ettelbruck. After 2 of the three rounds, Emma was in a clear lead, and decided to change fighting style in the last round and landed some excellent extravagant kicks with a 19-2 final score. This led to a semi-final bout with current recently crowned European Champion Tasha Viskens from Belgium. Emma started the match strongly leading for much of the bout, however a well-executed spinning kick for 4 points by the Belgian drew the match level. An unfortunate slip by Cahill offered her opponent a decisive one point advantage with the match eventually ending 6-7 in favour of Belgium. With a bronze medal secured, and some disappointment of missing out so close on one of the biggest matches of her career, Cahill soon refocused to think ahead for 2020 after an excellent competitive year in 2019. With many trips under her belt, Emma secured medals close to home including; a trio of golds in Ireland, England and Scotland where she prepared tactics for international ranking events further abroad winning medals in some of the most testing events in Europe including; Silver in Belgium, Gold in Sofia, Silver in Poland and Bronze in Paris. Commending her performances in 2019 her coach Robert Taaffe noted, ‘It’s been a good year for Emma, her application in training and attention to detail has been excellent. We have targeted a list of events this year to try give Emma and her team mates the best development possible and she has really shone in some testing divisions. Although much success is attributed to her many medal winning events, lessons learned in events with no success like Germany and Luxembourg are just as important to ensure the athlete can learn more about themselves, dynamics with coaches and stay hungry. Emma has set herself up for a very exciting 2020 where it is planned to start making preparations and adaptations for a seamless transition to junior ages in the near future.’

European Championships, Bari, G4, 2019

Bari, Italy was the host city for the 2019 European Championships. The three day senior event was held in the impressive ‘Palaflorio’ stadium with Europe’s elite congregating with the primary focus securing the all important Olympic Ranking points before the end of the year. Ireland’s sole athlete was South Dublin Taekwondo’s Jack Woolley who was seed number 4 in the -58kg division. With a bye in his preliminary round, Woolley had the opportunity to view his first opponent fight early who was to be Adil Beldaki from the Netherlands. A comfortable 29-0 score for Ireland’s saw the referee stop the match at the end of the penultimate round. In the quarter final round Jack drew the 2016 European Champion Mourad Laachraoui who had beaten Jack earlier this year in the Japanese Grand Prix, however a change of approach by Woolley seen him control the match to close out with a 20-11 victory scoring a mix of basic and elaborate extravagant kicks. Now into the semi-final against top seed Jesus Tortosa Cabrera, Jack had a giant task in front of him as he faced the towering frame of the Spaniard who finished 5th in the Rio Olympics. The semi finals & finals which were live televised generated an electric atmosphere, in which Woolley grew and took great encouragement from. An early spooning kick to the body for 4 points, followed by an immediate head kick for a further 3 gave jack a 7 point early lead which he built to 12-0 after the first round, leaving the match well under his control. Carrying on the same fine momentum and composed performance, jacks precision scoring and excellent blocking enabled him to cause an upset and beat the favorite by 23-11. After overcoming the statistical favorite, jacks next task was to defeat the home favorite in the final, Vito Dell’Aquilla of Italy in his home event. The Italian who was seed number three caused deafening noise as he entered the arena, with every kick met with cheers, gasps and applause. Jack took an early 4-0 lead in the final, which the Italian brought level to 4-4. In the second round the Italians lead took a stretch and the match looked like it may have been slipping away from the Tallaght native, until he landed a ferocious spinning head kick adding 5 points to his tally. The scores were back and forth throughout until jack retook the lead in round three. In the dying seconds in the lead the Italian landed a head kick on Woolley to snatch the lead from him with little time remaining. Jacks coach Robert Taaffe played his video replay card to try contest an infraction of the rules as the final score landed, however the protest was declined by the video review jury. As the match ended the 2 young adversaries embraced and raised one another’s hands while as Jack and Ireland secured a hard fought, well earned silver medal. The grade 4 event gives entrants quadruple ranking points, so jack left with 24 ranking points to keep him within touching distance of Olympic Qualification. The remainder of the year will now comprise an outing at the French Open in a fortnight followed by the Grand Prix Final in Moscow in December.

SDTKD Autumn Grading 2019

South Dublin Taekwondo Club held their Autumn edition of their club grading. The Olympic style taekwondo club who hold 2 grading examinations per year put its members to work in a test of their knowledge of different disciplines of taekwondo including basic movements, patterns, sparring techniques and breaking. There were 36 students who presented for the exam with a further 3 who were asked to do s test refresher as preparation for future black belt gradings. At the conclusion of the grading SDTKD Head Coach & grading examiner Robert Taaffe have special mentions to two groups of grading applicants; Arsh Dubey and Samantha Makecka were commended in their consistent hard work rate throughout the grading, and a group of newly promoted ‘black tags’ including Sean Byrne, Oisin Murphy, Samantha Malecka & Eamonn O’Callaghan were applauded after sitting their final ever Colour Belt Grading before setting to work to prepare for their black belt grading next year.

Pan Am Presidents Cup G2 2019

Possibly the most important medal in recent times for Jack Woolley of Tallaght’s South Dublin Taekwondo was achieved in Las Vegas at the weekend just past. Jack who currently has achieved his maximum Olympic ranking points for 2020 travelled without the possibility of personal Olympic points, but had other possibilities to achieve. The event in the PanAmerican region dubbed the ‘Presidents Cup’ grants additional ‘bonus points’ to all from the PANAM Continent. As many of Jacks nearest challengers for Olympic qualification reside in the America’s this event was a strategic attempt to gain all important distance from his nearest adversaries in Olympic ranking. (more…)

Polish Open 2019

South Dublin Taekwondo made their now annual trip to Poland for the 2019 Polish Open / Warsaw Cup held in the Torwar Arena, Warsaw. A team of 7 athletes were fielded, made up of some experienced athletes, and some development athletes. The 2 day event in the Polish capital once again proved to be a good test for the SDTKD athletes, with lessons learned, experience gained and some medals achieved for the team. Highlights of the event include a brace of silvers achieved by Irish Athletes David Phelan and Emma Cahill. Phelan who competes at -63kg Junior found himself in a heavily populated draw with a total of 5 matches required to gold. He started off his day with a 17-10 victory over Theofanis Nikolau of Greece, who is a 2018 European Champion. The tough test started with a strong round from Greek, but after some adjustments after round 1, David took control and saw off his opponent. In his round of 16 march David faced Enzo Comprelle from France, where the 16 year old Dubliner carried on his strong momentum to win 21-7 and line up a quarter final with Matthew Howell of Great Britan. (more…)

Australia Open G2 & Oceania Presidents Cup G2 2019

A selection of South Dublin Taekwondo (SDTKD) Clubs international athletes attended a double header of events in the Gold Coast, Australia. Two consecutive World Taekwondo ‘G2’ (Grade 2, double ranking points) were held within three days giving rise to fighters from all around the world taking the long trip in search of valuable medals & points. SDTKD had four junior fighters Ryan Doyle, Lauren Farrell and David Phelan attend alongside their senior team mate Jack Woolley.  

The two events included; ‘The Oceania Presidents Cup’, and the ‘Australian Open’. With 2 large profile events on back to back organizers were keen to entice people down under, and it did not fail, with superstars of the game arriving from all around the globe.

A couple of strong performances by the youngest of the group – Ryan Doyle left him just outside the medals. In his last fight of the events he was seconds away from defeating the eventual gold medalist of the Australian Open, with his coach Robert Taaffe protesting a dubious penalty decision with video replay, only to be declined by the officials, Doyle made an earlier exit than hoped.
Lauren Farrell secured a silver medal in her junior -59kg category after an impressive day of fighting, unfortunately settling for silver after a ‘golden score’ after the final finished level. In her second event, in Lauren’s third fight if the day she encountered the same opponent as previous event, Amber Heslop of Australia, this time in the semi final where she finished with a bronze medal. David Phelan won a brace of bronze medals, in both events fighting string preliminary rounds, but meeting the eventual gold medalist, Liam Sweeney of Australia in the semi final both days. SDTKD’s only senior in competition was Jack Woolley. During Jacks first event of 2, he won a well earned bronze medal and 7.2 World Ranking Points, whilst completing his maximum 40 Olympic Ranking points allowance for 2019. Jack had a bye in the preliminary due to ranking, then wins over Japanese opposition Jin Tomura & Taipei’s Hao-Yu Hsu opponents before defeat to former World Champion & Youth Olympic Champion Chen Yu-Wang from Chinese Taipei.
In the last day of the double event it was Gold Coast by Name & Gold by nature, as Jack saw off his entire division to secure gold, 20 ranking points & the title of Australian Open Champion 2019. Jacks first outing of the day secured victory over Korea’s Hong Seok Lee, followed by a repeat victory over Japans Jin Tomura. The semi final saw victory over Columbia’s Jefferson Ochoa followed by the final against Australian home favorite Bailey Lewis. In the final jack was behind after the opening round, but after some fine adjustments came back to win 23-16 and suprise the home  audiences. The group were accompanied by Head Coach Robert Taaffe who noted, ‘I’m very proud of what the team have achieved under difficult conditions. Jack came to Australia as it was part of our 2019 strategy & it was completed as hoped with some great performances. Our juniors Ryan, Lauren & David gave good performances, but I’m sure all three were hoping for higher results. Some things didn’t go our way, I believe they deserved a bit more, but that’s sport. We leave Australia with many more friends earned & good experience for future challenges.’


Luxembourg Open 2019

South Dublin Taekwondo attended their now annual trip to Luxembourg to attend the edition of the world ranking event. For the 4th consecutive year the club invited the international team & upcoming hopefuls to attend the event which is strongly attended due to its central location in Europe. The highly anticipated event was full over a month before the deadline with participants from countries from around the world represented. The SDTKD team of 7 athletes, and one coach ‘achieved some important personal milestones’ over the weekend noted SDTKD head coach Robert Taaffe.

One of SDTKD’s development athletes Leroy Nsilu Dilandu who fought in the Junior male -68kg division proved to be the star of the show for the club. Leroy secured his first rankling event win at the event to the delight of his team, but went on to better it with a total of three four matches securing a silver and his first World Taekwondo G1 [Grade 1] medal. Leroy beat Lukas Atle Lindgren 25-12 from Norway in his preliminary outing, then proceeded to overcome Can Cinar of Germany 14-12 in his quarter final bout. His semi-final was a nail biting affair securing a last minute comeback to win 15-14 against Diogo Rafael Alves Da Costa of Portugal. After a trio of strong victories, Leroy conceded to defeat against Jona Pörsch of Germany in the final.


Champion Open 2019

The National Indoor Arena in Blanchardstown was the venue for the latest event in World Taekwondo Ireland’s domestic schedule with the ‘2nd Champion International Open’ hosting many Irish taekwondo enthusiasts from beginner to advanced level and visitors from throughout Europe.

Locals South Dublin Taekwondo were delighted by their entry with a strong diverse field of grass roots, up & comers and advance athletes all competing side by side.
41 athletes took so the mats from SDTKD, most from beginner – novice divisions showing a great resurgence to interest in competition for the less experienced, since SDTKD opened their own club venue in the Arena in Tallaght last October. SDTKD were honored to be declared winning team on the day with substantial performances throughout the ranks including; Emma Cahill won gold in -41kg cadet, Eoin Rosales was top of the podium in -45kg cadet, Ryan Doyle captured a well earned gold, Bobby Nugent won gold in his children’s division alongside his big brother Ben & dad Alan who won silvers. Families were competing together with trios from the Mahesh Family, McGovern’s, Nugent’s & Makecka’s all bringing home silverware.
Coach Robert Taaffe noted, ‘Medals aside, the team we’re excellent today. We had a lot of first timers, and they went home with a smile on their face & medals around their neck. Our coaches, assistants & parents were brilliant contributing to a very enjoyable day.’
SDTKD Coach (Robert Taaffe) with first place Team Trophy. (2nd Place Estonian Team, 3rd Place Ayrfield)