Echo Amateur Sports Star and Team of the Month - August 2015

By Stephen Leonard

August Sports Star of the Month - KARYNA NIKITINA

A YEAR after capturing two gold medals at the WAKO World Cadets and Junior Kickboxing Championships in Italy, Karyna Nikitina did it again at European level when she travelled to Spain with the Ireland team in August.

In her points fighting division, she firstly made it by a tough German opponent, winning by two points, before beating a Slovenian by six in the penultimate rounds.

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Her performance in the decider was even more emphatic as she carded an eight-point win over her UK challenger.
With that prize in the bag, Nikitina turned her attention to her shot at the European Continuous title.

And victories over Austrian, Italian and Polish opposition saw her become the only Irish junior competitor to win two double championships in points and continuous in successive years.

Officials, referees and coaches from the 36 nations represented were so impressed with her amazing feat that she was voted ‘Best Points & Continuous’ competitor out of all age groups in the European Championships.

“Karyna works so hard for her titles” said her coach Ilija Salerno. “She trains every night of the week and competes in every challenge.”

August Sports Team of the Month - Ireland's World Masters Championship 8Km CC Team

JOHN Dunne of Donore Harriers together with Rathfarnham AC pair Paul Fleming and Ronan Kearns combined to win a team bronze at the World Masters Athletics Championship 8km Cross Country Race in Lyon last month.

Dunne led the way for the team, earning himself an individual silver medal after crossing the finish line just four seconds adrift of winner Michael Moissonier (25.17) of France, but well clear of third placed Vladimir Srb (25.39) of the Czech Republic.

Fleming finished 11th in the division with Kearns following him home in 16th.
Dunne, who joined Donore Harriers in 2012, also contested the 5000m track race and placed an excellent eighth of 36 finishers in a time of 15.45.22.

Fleming also qualified for the M40 1500m Final which he completed in 14th in 4:21.31.
Also in action in France was another Rathfarnham competitor Barry Minnock who carded a seventh place finish in the M40 5000m Race.

Rathfarnham runners will now be gearing up to take part in the club’s annual 5km Run taking place this coming Sunday, starting at 10am.

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