TWO Cork Taekwondo Clubs were celebrating after their students won medals for Ireland at the European Taekwondo Championships.
16-year-old Joey Shaw from Passage West School of Taekwondo and 17-year-old Cian Barrett from Cork ITA Club were selected to represent Team Ireland at the 36th Senior and 27th Junior AETF European Taekwondo Championships held in Poreč, Croatia.
The teens were stepping up to international elite level for the first time and returned after winning three silver medals between them.
First up was Barrett, who competed in Individual Junior Male Patterns. He won his first round against Bosnia before losing out in next round for a place in the quarter-final to a Dutch opponent.
This disappointment was short-lived as Barrett joined his Cork and Ireland teammate Shaw to compete in Junior Male Team Patterns. Along with teammates Finn Martin (Dublin), and Dave Larkin and Odin McNulty (Clare) they did magnificently, beating Spain 5-0 in the quarter-final, Romania 4-1 in the semi-final before narrowly losing out to Scotland in the final to claim European silver medals.
Shaw then competed in the Individual Male Junior Sparring -68kg category beating his Norwegian opponent 4-0 after extra time before narrowly losing out to his Scottish foe for a place in the quarter-final.
This disappointment was short-lived as he was selected to compete as part of the Male Junior Sparring Team, fighting in every match. Along with teammates Finn Martin from Dublin, Shane Alison (Laois), Dubliners Adam Power and Sam Keogh, and Dannan Fox (Clare), he battled hard to earn wins over Romania and Germany, making it through to the final and taking silver against Ukraine.
This was a great achievement from the Cork boys with Shaw taking home two European silver medals in Team Sparring and Team Patterns and Barrett a European Silver Medal in Team Patterns.
The future in international competition is bright for these young stars.
Cork was also represented on the Irish team with Cian’s brother Jack Barrett of Cork ITA involved in Male Junior Sparring -50kg and Conor Cooper (East Cork Taekwondo) entering the Male Junior Sparring -56kg.
Barrett took his Polish opponent to extra time before bowing out in a closely contested match, while Cooper won his first-round tie against Romania before exiting in the next phase against Slovenia.