Local competitors gear up for Four Nations International

THE National Basketball Arena in Tallaght will play host to the second annual WMAI Four Nations Karate Championships on Saturday, October 5.

Catering for senior male and female competitors from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, the event will be incorporated into a major international that will involve squads from Romania, Poland, Italy and possibly Malta.

WUKF World Championships 180719

Local competitors gained some valuable experience at the recent WUKF World Karate Championships staged in Slovakia.

It is expected that some 500 will be taking part in the event with WMAI also set to field up to 35 in the hope of retaining the international tournament title they won last season.

Among those set to be included in that panel will be a handful of athletes who lined out in the recent WUKF World Karate Championships in Slovakia.

Newcastle School of Karate accounted for five of the six competitors who travelled to Bratislava for that tournament and who were supported by the Maldron, Jackobus and Coaches and Fightstore KCR with Stephen Naughton going very close to a podium finish only to be narrowly beaten 3-2 by the eventual silver medallist from Brazil in the Senior Veterans division.

His clubmate Paul Brennan suffered a similar fate, being edged out 6-5 in the last eight of his Veterans section by his South African opponent.

There were other encouraging performances by Newcastle’s Oscar and Oisin Brennan and Rathangan’s Reece Dowling while Eoghan Foley was forced out in the first round through injury.

Certainly the experience of competing on the world stage should serve these competitors well ahead of the Four Nations and International in October.

Following that, it is expected that the National Basketball Arena will also provide the backdrop to the first staging in Ireland of the WUKF Professional Karate Championships in March/April of 2020.

The qualifiers for this huge event will take place in Poland in November with the top two in each division continuing on to fight for their respective world titles in Tallaght next year.

What’s more, it is also hoped that the WUKF European Karate Champ-ionships will be coming to Dublin the following year with Citywest the likely venue having staged the World equivalent back in 2016.

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