Cork to host the World Karate Championship

Cork to host the World Karate Championship
Black belt Shane Hurley from the Fermoy Karate Club and Joan O'Connor from Passage West Karate Club under the watchful eye of IJKA 9th Dan Black Belt Hanshi Sadashige from Japan. Pic: Brian Lougheed.

The World Shotokan Karate Open Championships will be held in UCC's Mardyke Arena next month. 

The Championships, which will take place from July 6 to 9, will attract more than 1,500 athletes from 25 countries along with supporters and is supported by Failte Ireland.

This is the first time Ireland will host the World Championships which Irish competitors are known to excel in, bringing home an unprecedented 88 medals from last year's competition in Poznan, the most successful performance by an Irish Karate team to date. 

It is hoped that the team, 33 of whom are from Cork, will better last year's record on home soil this year.

Head of the International Japan Karate Association (IJKA) in Ireland, Brian Twomey of Fermoy Karate Club said: “Having hosted the European Championships in 1999 and 2003, we are very much looking forward to welcoming more than 25 nations to Cork next month."

"Hosting an event this size requires considerable resources and if it were not for the support of all the participating clubs in Ireland and an amazing team of volunteers we would not be able to run such an event. I would also like to thank our sponsors Ford Ireland, Failte Ireland, Cork County Council for their support as well as local businesses who have made generous donations."

The IJKA World Chief Instructor, Hanshi Sadashihe Kato 9th Dan said the performance of the Irish teams in previous World Championships has been truly outstanding and their performances ensured that Cork and Ireland was a popular choice to host the World Championships. 

During the Championships there will be an international seminar on July 6 along with other top Japanese and European instructors.

Ciarán McMahon, Managing Director of Henry Ford & Son Ltd. said it was great to see such a prestigious international event come to the city. 

"I am sure that the Championship at the Mardyke Sports Arena will be a hugely enjoyable spectacle for fans of all martial arts and we are delighted to contribute to making the event a huge success."

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