The Galway Black Dragon Kickboxing Club celebrated huge success at the recent Unified World Championships in Tuscany.
Travelling as part of IKF Team Ireland, the kickboxers returned home on Monday with a tally of gold, silver and bronze medals from the largest martial arts championships.
Jamie O Sullivan from Clonberne is the new world champion in the senior men’s light heavyweight full contact kickboxing division after defeating England in the final. O’Sullivan had taken on the Czech Republic and the Ukraine before the final showdown which left both men battered and bruised.
Fourteen-years-old Darren Woods from Corofin won three silver medals and one bronze after some tough fights with Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, Italy and Poland, while seven-years-old Belle Foley from Annaghdown had her first K-1 rules fight in the semi final of the -22kg division. After a full three rounds, France took the win, while Foley took a well deserved bronze medal and also gold medal in the -24kg section by walkover.
Sister, 14-years-old Faith Foley defeated Italy in the final of the girls -42kg kickboxing division and narrowly lost by decision to Ukraine in the final of the -44kg division, while 12-years-old Finn Foley won two gold medals and three silver.
Clodagh Foley, mother to Faith, Finn and Belle, was supposed to have a straight final with Poland in the relatively new UFR Ruleset (Unified Fighting Rules ) which is fought over three rounds - the first round is Queensbury Rules Boxing, the second round is regular kickboxing and the third round is low kick Kickboxing.Having won the fight by unanimous decision leaving, she was then made to fight a late entry Denmark in the final and after a short recovery, she was back in the ring for another three hard rounds.
The 43-years-old Clodagh, who had not fought competitively in almost nine years, went on to defeat the Danish fighter also by unanimous verdict to win the veteran ladies' UFR World title. She also took gold in the senior veteran ladies -65kg kickboxing division by walkover.