Dilandu and Farrell make the podium at Luxembourg Open

SOUTH Dublin Taekwondo saw a number of their members turn in very encouraging performances and two of them make the podium at the Luxembourg Open.

For the fourth consecutive year the club was invited to attend the event in which Leroy Nsilu Dilandu  picked up silver in the Junior Male -68kg division while Lauren Farrell earned bronze in the -59kg Junior Female class.

SDTKD Lauren Farrell Anas Belmaati Coach and Leroy Dilandu 1

Luxembourg Open medal winners Lauren Farrell and Leroy Nsilu Dilandu with SDTKD Coach Anas Belmaati

The former, one of SDTKD’s development athletes, secured his first ranking event win at the tournament, but did not stop there and continued on to record a total of three victories from four matches securing a silver and his first World Taekwondo G1 [Grade 1] medal.

He saw off the challenge of Lukas Atle Lindgren from Norway 25-12 in his preliminary outing, before then beating Can Cinar of Germany 14-12 in his quarter final bout.

His semi-final proved a nailbiting affair as he recorded a last-minute comeback to win 15-14 against a tough Diogo Rafael Alves Da Costa of Portugal.

It was a superb run, but for the South Dublin competitor, but it came to an end in the decider when he lost out against Jona Pörsch of Germany.

Also securing a place on the podium, Farrell is one of the more experienced fighters of the team and had her sights set on the gold medal.

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The South Dublin Taekwondo team at the Luxembourg Open

Managing a minor injury well and adapting her style accordingly throughout, she progressed through her preliminary bout winning 18-17 against Victoria Falke of Austria.

That was followed by a quarter final victory on the point-gap rule 33-12 against French opponent Ornella Curcovich.

Yet it was a heart-breaking end to Farrell’s campaign in the semi final after she had fought her way back from behind to tie the match at 14 points apiece by the close of regulation time only to lose the added ‘Golden Round’ 2-0, forcing her to settle for a bronze.

While that was the extent of podium finishes for the club, SDTKD Coach Anas Belmaati was delighted with the team’s efforts at such a high level event.

“Six of seven of our athletes achieved wins at this level” he said. “It is a good outing for the team which was made up of both experienced and future development athletes.”

Among the other results from the event were hard fought fifth place finishes for David Phelan, Ryan Doyle and Emma Cahill, who after securing a series of strong victories went out in the quarter final stage.

Siblings Eoghan and Abby Gorman were also in action together for the first time with the former settling for a ninth place finish while Abby missed out on the win, but will take plenty from the experience gained.

“The SDTKD team of seven athletes, and one coach achieved some important personal milestones over the weekend” noted South Dublin TKD Head Coach Robert Taaffe.

The squad now prepares for a busy summer training schedule while this coming weekend, Farrell, Phelan and Doyle will join up with Taaffe and Olympic hopeful Jack Woolley, for their trip to the Gold Coast, Australia for a double header of World Ranking events.

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