South Dublin Taekwondo

World Sports Festival 2013

Jack & Ryan Woolley at the Opening Ceremony

With not many first left in the world of sport Taekwondo, an opportunity came to attend the Inaugural Taekwondo Event to be included in the World Sports Festival, Austria. The event now in its 9th year is a multi-discipline sporting event with other sports such as Basketball, Swimming, Wrestling, Tennis, Volleyball included to name but a few. Taekwondo Kyorugi was included for the 1st time in 2013 in a games which is quite similar in format as the Universiade, but for younger players. The event was very much an all-inclusive event, allowing entries from club level & national level teams to compete for same honours in their respective sports. South Dublin Taekwondo sent a modest squad of just 2 players & 2 coaches this time round, with additional mat time during quieter summer for players high on the agenda. The team flew to Slovakia & drove to Vienna to take part in the well anticipated event. Brothers Ryan & Jack Woolley competed in -63kg Sub 21 Senior & -48kg Junior respectively. Both players were on good form at the event, seeing off well rounded players to ultimately achieve a Silver medal for Ryan, and a gold for Jack. Highlights for each include a well rounded 1/4 final & semi final performance from Ryan [20], going onto a 3 round thrilling final with Austrian National Team Player Muhammed Yasin Gumusay, pipped to gold in a 17-12 thriller. Younger sibling Jack [14] who typically fights -45kg Junior gained great experience fighting up one weight with matches including beating a Kosovan counterpart Mihidin Krasniqui who is set to travel to the upcoming European Championships in the Kosovo -48kg weight category and finished his final with a spectacular 360 turning kick to the head knock out blow in the 2nd round of his final match clinching a Gold. The event was well received by the well traveled SDTKD team noting the fantastic venue & setup for the Youth Groups that were implemented. Travelling coaches included Head Coach Robert Taaffe, and Club Strength & Conditioning Coach Niamh Buffini who were on hand to oversee the matches in the draining 35 degree heat. Next up for SDTKD is a strong summer of training ahead of further international events, club level events, the ITU Irish Open, and the Junior European Championships In Portugal in September.