South Dublin’s Cahill wins European bronze

EMMA Cahill, one of Ireland’s up and coming Taekwondo exponents, reached the European Cadets Championships podium in Marina D’or, Spain.

Originally a member of Baldoyle Taekwondo, the 12-year-old has been training with South Dublin Taekwondo Club for the past couple of years.

SDTKD Emma Cahill 2

Emma Cahill's emotional reaction to clinching a victory that secured her a European Cadets medal 

She made her Irish team debut in the -37kg Female division in Spain and recorded an impressive start when she beat Russia’s Victoria Pantrkova 14-3 in the first round.

In her second round she served up an even more emphatic 18-5 win up against Diana Krush of Ukraine, setting up a quarter final encounter against one of the top contenders Aleyna Demir from Turkey.

This proved to be a spectacle of dynamic Taekwondo with Cahill  just coming out on top 26-24 propelling her through to last four where she came up against another Russian Anna Titaernk, to whom she eventually lost 5-0.

The bronze medal was a superb close to a year that marked Cahill’s first as a cadet and eligible for major championships.

When she was in the younger divisions her father Stephen travelled all around Europe for many years giving Emma a strong start in the sport in which she gained a massive collection of accolades.

Soon after moving up to cadet she secured national team eligibility after a string of fine performances at international world ranking events throughout 2018.

She was joined at the event by SDTKD clubmates Ryan Doyle and Jack Woolley.

The former is an ITF black belt from Firhouse Taekwon-do who switched codes to Olympic Taekwondo a year ago, and managed to secure a national team place with his great kicking ability and height for his division.

He unfortunately came up against the division favourite from Russia in his opening match and did not manage to progress.

Meanwhile Olympic hopeful Woolley, made his national team coaching debut at this event, overseeing the two youngsters who were joined by five other Irish team first timers.

Indeed a further bronze medal was secured by Shannon Larkin from Champion Taekwondo Club in the -29kg female division.

Delighted with the performance of the squad, South Dublin Taekwondo Head Coach and Irish Taekwondo Performance Director Robert Taaffe said, “This is a very exciting time for Olympic Taekwondo.

“These youngsters will be eligible for Paris 2024 and the next few years will be spent ensuring this group and those around them have the best chance to qualify” he insisted.

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