Checkmat looking to maintain great run

CHECKMAT Dublin Jiu Jitsu Club will be looking to pick up in 2020 where they left off last year.

The Ballymount club brought the curtain down on great year with top honours in the IBJJF European Kids Jiu Jitsu Championship and will now see head coach John Kelly push for another podium finish at the European IBJJF Championships in Lisbon later this month.

Checkmat Dublin group

Checkmat Dublin members with the medals they have picked up in recent tournaments

Kelly is no stranger to success in this event having won gold in NO-GI and silver in GI Purple Belt competition back in 2016.

Since then he has chalked up a further two bronze and silver in brown belt on the continental stage.

Certainly the young competitors in Checkmat have benefitted from his experience with the club’s competition team itself growing from two competitors in himself and his daughter, Lana, to more than 12 active members.

In the first ever IBJJF European Kids Jiu Jitsu Championship held in Dublin, Checkmat competitors certainly made their presence felt.

First up for the club was Nathan O’Callaghan who was pitched into a straight final against a very tough and experienced Italian whom he submitted in the final seconds after a truly dominant performance.

Lana Kelly finished deadlocked against an experience Spanish girl in another straight decider, but lost out on the referee’s decision.

Head Coach Kelly was, meanwhile pipped by his Greek opponent in his Adult Brown Belt Middleweight NO GI Final, yet he followed that up with victory in the Open Class after he beat his heavyweight opponent.

Taylor Evans added to the club’s medal haul when he picked up a superb bronze medal after lining out in a four-man division.

Some 12 Checkmat competitors were back in action the following month when Grappling Industries hosted one of their hugely competitive events in DCU

Gold medals were won by Ramunas Venslovas, Violeta Sych, Bradley Evans, Caua Oliveira, Josh Scully and Nathan O’Callaghan while Lana Kelly, Caua Oliveira and Luke Walker finished runners-up in their respective divisions.

Bronze medals were won by Taylor Evans and Danny McGrane, the latter competing in his first tournament in which he recorded four impressive victories in his five fights.

 It helped see Checkmat Dublin jump to ninth place on the overall team standings which includes almost 100 teams.

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