Woolley completes stunning world tour

By Stephen Leonard

THE FOURTH instalment of Jack Woolley's world tour took place in the United Arab Emirates where he fought in another world ranking contest and emerged with a third silver medal.

This tournament, which is Asia's Grade Two event, had double ranking points available to athletes and so drew a crowd of Olympians and World medallists to the emirate of Fujairah.

Jack Woolley and Niamh

The Echo 2015 Sports Star of the Year was joined by his coach Niamh Buffini and entered the event seeded second leading to a bye in the first round.

His first bout saw him face off against Saudi National team player Sultan Abdulghani whom he beat comfortably 13-0.

This led to a quarter final match against Lithuania National team's Klemad Andrius against whom he chalked up a 12-0 victory.

Heading into the semi finals without dropping a point, he faced a stern challenge in Taras Malchenko from Ukraine and came through it successfully 11-4.

This led to a mouth-watering final against Irans Armin Hadipour Seighalini who just days before won the Rio Olympics test event in Brazil.

Under Coach Buffini's tuition Jack almost beat the Iranian phenomenon in Croatia last year, and the pair hoped to go a step further this time.

But it was not to be, as Seighalini, who has never been beaten in his career at his chosen fin weight, continued his tremendous run by taking gold.

Jack Woolley medals

Looking back on Woolley’s amazing month, South Dublin Taekwondo's head coach Robert Taaffe said “This month Jack travelled to USA, Canada, Turkey and UAE, each time returning home to switch coaches.

“One gold and three silvers in the space of three weeks. To pull off this string of performances considering the circumstances and fatigue is just incredible.

“We wanted to make a statement, and we did. Now let's hope the statement is received by those we hope will offer support to his current ability and future potential.

“Forty world ranking points have been achieved in three weeks. The maximum players are permitted in a year are 60 and this should see Jack well into the top ten in the world.

“In 2016 he is so far the world’s most decorated Taekwondo athlete in all categories.

“It's now time for rest before a half month training with the Finnish Olympic Team next month before starting competitive preparations for the European Championships in the summer” he said.

The day before jetting off to Dubai, Woolley was also crowned Irish National Champion in a non-contested division.

While he himself had no fight, he helped coach and guide his South Dublin Taekwondo team mates to a string of national titles at the first local event of the year.

And to his delight, his best friend and training partner Aoibhe Thornton secured a double national title winning both junior and senior -49kg female honours with Woolley in the coaches chair.

Prev Neilstown hosts exciting boxing tournament
Next Miele sees players’ bond a major plus for Hoops this year

  • Tallaght father Mick Morrissey issues an important message after his son Alex tragically passed away
  • Sixteen of Ireland’s most iconic sports stars join forces
  • A message from Stephen Kenny
  • Happy Mother's Day - Sea of Change Choir
  • The Echo speaks to Trish Nolan manager of the South Dublin County Volunteer Centre

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.