Newlands men to contest World Championships

Newlands men to contest World Championships

THE ITF World Championship will be coming to Citywest from October 10 to16 with more than 60 countries expected to be represented, writes Alannah Kenny.

The Irish team is made up of 57 competitors from all over the country among whom will be three competitors from Newlands Taekwon-Do Club based in the Clondalkin Leisure Centre.

Newlands Collage

The Irish Taekwon-Do Association is hosting the championships which generally takes place every second year in a different location.

The teams were selected based upon past tournament performances and achievements throughout Europe over the past year with the Newlands trio of Stephen Smullen, Sean Molloy and Leard Xheladini having recorded some impressive results

Smullen will compete in the 4-6th degree blackbelt patterns and the -85kg sparring division.

This competition marks his fourth World Championship campaign after he made his global debut back in 2009 in Argentina where he won bronze.

He went on to take the same colour again in 2011 in the New Zealand-hosted championships, but missed out on the 2013 Worlds in Spain due to injury.

He made up for lost time in 2015, however, when he took home gold in Italy as part of the Irish Senior Men’s team.

In 2016 Smullen again captured gold in the World Cup in Budapest.

In Citywest, he will be joined by fellow Ireland team members Sean Molloy and Leard Xheladini who will both be competing in the Junior +75kg sparring category.

The two are making their Irish team debut in this year’s championships.

The young competitors have, nevertheless, contested various tournaments, including the Dutch Open where they met in the +75kg decider in which Molloy took gold and Xheladini silver.

It is expected that the National team members will endure intense training sessions of five to six times per week in the coming months to prepare for the big challenge.