South Dublin Taekwondo athletes hold their own in star-studded Spanish Open
Jack Woolley earned silver and 12 ranking points

South Dublin Taekwondo athletes hold their own in star-studded Spanish Open

IT WAS a hugely productive trip to Alicante for a number of South Dublin Taekwondo members as they garnered some valuable experience at the 2022 Spanish Open with a number of them reaching the podium.

The event was attended by the superstars of world taekwondo including Olympic, World and continental champions, who all converged on Alicante for the first tournament to be run under newly-adapted rules.

Senior international, Jack Woolley led the way for the Tallaght club, scooping silver in his division almost ten years to the day he ignited his ranking medal haul when he won bronze in the cadet class in Alicante.

Now contesting his sixth Spanish Open, Woolley surmounted opposition from Spain, France and Sweden en route to the final where he took on the upcoming Turkish athlete, Omer Faru Dayioglu.

The Dubliner edged 5-2 in front early on, but the Turk registered a last-second head shot to make it 5-5 by the close of the first round before continuing on to open up a six-point gap in the second.

Leroy Nsilu Dilandu

The deficit proved too much for Woolley as the taller Dayioglu ran down the clock to ensure gold while the South Dublin athlete settled for his sixth Spanish Open medal and, with it, 12 ranking points.

Senior clubmate, Leroy Nsilu Dilandu continued his recent run of good form, reaching the last 16 of his division following a win over Norwegian opposition with a high-flying display of spinning kicks, before losing out to the Number Four seed from Germany.

Also in action in Spain were a selection of SDTKD youth athletes including Cadets, Anna Mahesh, Monika Ilieva, Kate McGovern and Steve Mahesh, Shauna Farrell and Juniors, James McGovern and Lisbeth Mahesh.

This group of up-and-coming athletes all got a taste of the new rule system and also saw Ilieva (in -37kg Cadet) and Farrell (in -55kg Cadet) both picking up bronze medals.

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