Checkmat trio bring home World medals

CHECKMAT Dublin’s team of three competitors returned home from the World Junior Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships in Wolverhampton with one gold and two silver medals last weekend.

Nathan O’Callaghan led the way for the Ballymount club, winning three fights en route to victory in the Teen 2 Under 60kg White belt division.

John Kelly Checkmat 09

Luke Fleet, Lana Kelly and Nathan O’Callaghan with Coach John Kelly.

Just starting out in the sport under the guidance of high-level competitor John Kelly some three months ago, O’Callaghan won all contests by arm-bar submissions.

A win over Team Sukata’s Jamie Conchie ignited the Tallaght lad’s march to the title after which he beat Ewan Quainton of Kaizen Acad-emy in the penultimate rounds and Dawid Ksiazek in the decider.

“He [O’Callaghan] was cool and extremely calm in his first-ever competition and fought like someone who has trained for years,” said Coach Kelly.

First up in the tournament for Checkmat was white belt 14-year-old Luke Fleet from Kilnamanagh who entered in the Under 46kg Teen 2 White Belt class.

He lost a straight final on points to a more experienced UK compet-itor, Matyi Jonas for Gracie Barra in Nottingham.

“Luke has been training 10 months and has only competed once before and won both his fights convincingly in this tournament,” recalled Kelly.

Lana Kelly, the current World Champion, lined out in a straight final in the Under 60kg Orange/Green belt division against the Spanish National Champ-ion Iris Montesinos Perdomo and was edged out in very close contest.

Following that com-petition, Fleet and O’Callaghan were promoted to grey belt while Kelly received her green black belt in Checkmat Dublin’s first grading since they opened almost a year ago.

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