Gold for Galway at World Champs in Italy

Two gold, five silver, and two bronze medals was the medal haul achieved by Pete Foley and his team of Black Dragon Fighters who competed in the World Martial Arts Games in Italy at the weekend.

Galway’s Donna Larkin was one of the two gold medallists, and incredibly it was her clubmate Amy Charles who faced her in the final. Charles had won an exciting contest over the Czech Republic, but she lost on points to club mate Larkin who added the gold to her growing collection of trophies.

The second gold medal was won by Aidan Brooks, who had also won silver in the men’s heavyweight kickboxing section, losing narrowly on points to Germany. He then went on to meet a tough Italian in the final of the K-1 division and came away with a gold medal in the last fight of the championship.

The Italian had won the World Heavyweight Thai Boxing Title and was tipped to win the K-1, but Brooks, who is Ireland’s most experienced and top ranked K-1 fighter, took the big man to the ground with low leg kicks and counted him in the first round.

The Italian, wary of Brooks’ power, came out with a flying knee attack to open a cut over Brooks’ left eye, but Brooks connected with a right hook and floored him for another count in the second.

Both men went it at in the third, but come the final bell Brooks had done enough and was declared World Amateur K-1 Heavyweight Champion.

In other fights Catherine Cullinane was narrowly defeated in the semi finals of the - 60kg ladies to take bronze against France, while Cathal Manning, who also got bronze, lost his semi-final on the closest of margins to a tough Russian fighter, also a member of the Russian amateur boxing team, who went on to win the gold.

Whitney Huish took a silver medal in her final against Germany, and Nicola Collins was pipped in her final against France, although this one was a split decision with one judge giving her a clear win.

Sean Cumiskey took silver after losing on points to Italy, while Eric Daly also took silver after being pipped by Germany - the German fighter was a veteran of 150 fights.

The next big outing for the Galway Black Dragon fighters will be in the Black Box Theatre, Galway on December 13 entitled "Seasons Beatings". This promotion will see five fighters fly in from the French Caribbean to take on Galway fighters Gary Manogue, T-Bob, Amy Charles-Wilson, Eric Daly, and newly crowned World Heavyweight K-1 Champ Aidan Brooks.

Brooks will take on French heavyweight fighter Jean Claude Albina for the European Heavyweight Full Contact Kickboxing crown, while Cathal Manning will defend his European super middleweight title against British No 1 Rob Burbridge in the main event.

Sean Cumiskey and Donna Larkin will fight for vacant All Ireland titles against Belfast and Wicklow fighters David Walsh and Marsha Halpin, while Nicola Collins fights for a European title against English champ Louise Tanner.

A beginners’ kickboxing course for adults will commence on Tuesday next at 7pm in the Galway Gym and advance booking is necessary.

Contact Pete Foley 087-8119227.

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