Midleton National Champions in TaeKwon-Do

            Open just over a year, Midleton TaeKwon-Do Club had a huge success at the IUTF National Championships this November, where every student placed in the tournament, taking home 15 medals from just 10 competitors, and an incredible 5 national champions! Mr. Paul Manning became national champion in the black belt sections where in the colour belt sections it was all kept in the family where brothers and sisters, Arnaud and Verlene, and Natalia and David, all came first in sparring, with David and Arnaud also taking bronze in sine-wave patterns, very different to the traditional style of patterns that they were used to.


                                                                                                                                                            It was very nearly an all-midleton sparring final between Natalia and her club mate Nicola, who only lost by one point in the semi finals but took home bronze. Midleton’s adult students Daniel and Sam both did their club proud taking home bronze each, and junior student Jakob took home silver after an exhausting four fights to get to the final.David was the youngest of Midleton’s national champions at 6, where Natalia won the under 10 white to green belt section, with Verlene and Arnaud winning the under 12 and under 17 white to green belt sections respectively, to help bring five national champions back to Midleton!                                                                        


                                                                                  Their Instructor Mr. James Dwyer took home silver for the club also in the senior blackbelt middleweight sparring, narrowly being beaten by current ITF European Champion Leon Brydon. The fight was highly anticipated by everyone there as James is the current ITF World Champion, having taken gold in Korea earlier this year. This was the first time these two fighters met in the ring as they kept missing each other in previous tournaments. Although unlucky this time, James is looking forward to their next fight which will likely be at the 2011 European Championships, which will be held in Ireland next June.


                                                                                                  And finally Mr. Paul Manning, co-instructor of the Midleton Ninjas with Mr. Dwyer, took gold in the senior blackbelt lightweight sparring. This adds to a remarkable year for Mr. Manning after taking bronze and silver in the World Championships, taking gold in the British Championships, and now adds the National Championship title to his “golden four”, which means in the same year he has been the Munster, Leinster, Connaught and now National Champion in light weight sparring. Both Mr. Dwyer and Mr. Manning, and all their students, hope to win even more medals again at the European Championships next June, bringing the gold back both for Midleton and for Ireland!

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