It is Paris next for members of the Northwest Karate Federation after a superb success at the WKC World Karate Federation Championships in Belgrade recently.

The NWKF had eight members representing the UKC (Ulster Karate Council) at the championships.

The Northern Ireland team was made up of a squad of 22 people from Dromore, Limavady, Antrim, Belfast and Derry.

The squad included seven competitors from Derry - Sean Leonard, Shane Doherty, John McFadden, Leah Strunks, Jack McFadden-Hegarty, Harry Doherty and Tiernan O’Donoghue as well as four referees with one Chief Referee in Leona McFadden.

Limavady were represented in the squad with four competitors, Martin and Finn Cole, Ava and Darcy Cooper. Martin Cole was also a referee at the tournament.

Saturday, June 24 was a successful day for the team.

14-year-old Jack McFadden-Hegarty achieved an fantastic bronze medal in boys wado, 13-year-old Harry Doherty also won two bronze medals in kumite, one for individual boys aged 13 and bronze in the team event with fellow teammate Bradley Montgomery from Antrim who also won a silver medal in boys kumite.

Ava and Darcy Cooper from Limavady won silver medals in Shotokan Kata and Kumite respectively. Joshua Mc Conaghy (Dromore), at his first international event won a silver medal in boys wado kata.

After the opening ceremony at 4.00pm the seniors had kata events.

John McFadden competed in the Senior Male wado kata final, at which he won a bronze medal. John then shortly afterwards competed in the senior male wado kata final. John achieved his ultimate goal and ambition to win Gold for Northern Ireland. It was the only gold medal won by the team.

Martin Cole (Limavady) also competed in senior Male Shotokan kata final and was beaten in a tied points score in final. Martin achieved an incredible Silver medal, but those attending agreed he should have won the gold medal, as it had been tough judging from the officials.

The group celebrated a great result on day one of tournament with National Coach Liam Haslem (Dromore).

Sunday had the cadets and seniors in competition. Leona McFadden and Martin Cole refereed throughout the day. This was Leona’s second day in charge, and she was chief referee on her area, which was a great honour and achievement for Leona and the Northern Ireland team. Terry Boyle (Belfast) and Neil Forbes (Derry-based in London) also officiated for the Northern Ireland team.

During Sunday 25th June’17 (day two) of tournament, Finn Cole, Tiernan O’Donoghue (Derry), and Shane Doherty all achieved bronze medals in their individual kumite events.

The senior male team of Shane Doherty, Sean Leonard and Ryan Dickson (Dromore) won a bronze medal, losing to the Republic of Ireland team in the semi-final. The best fight of day two had the Northern Ireland Cadet team of Jack McFadden-Hegarty, Gerard Mclean (Antrim) and Finn Cole (Limavady) losing two bouts to one in the final.

This silver medal was well deserved as the guys lost narrowly to the best Russian team in the tournament. The atmosphere was amazing during the three bouts with the Northern Ireland team gaining great respect from their opposition and the watching audience.

Overall the team achieved one Gold, five Silver and seven Bronze individual medals and one Silver and two Bronze team medals. It was fantastic result from a squad of just seventeen competitors.

Check out some of the fights and kata online (YouTube) and photos on Facebook. The squad is currently training for the European Wado-kai tournament in Paris, on the 3rd November 2017.   

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.