Bushido MA targeting World Junior medals

By Stephen Leonard

A NUMBER of students from Bushido Clondalkin are gearing up for the arrival of the WAKO Cadets and Junior World Championships to Citywest Hotel from August 30 to September 3.

Led by coach Ilija Salerno, Bushido has already produced WAKO World and European junior medallists in the past in the likes of multi-award-winn-ing Karyna Nikitina, Shannon Gayson, Vika Sushutskita, Michelle Bay-ly and Gwen Hammond.

Bushidos luke kelly karyna nikitina shannon gayson  darragh omara IMG 3413

In the seniors, Alicia Gayson took a World Veterans title and more recently Derek Deegan scooped a bronze on the same stage last year.

This year Bushido’s junior team is made up of Nikitina , Gayson, Darragh O’Mara, Eoghan Gorman and Luke Kelly, all of whom have been in intense training since qualifying for the championships back in early April.

Sixteen-year-old Nikitina is, as always, a favourite to win honours, although she is not ranked as this is the first year she moved up an age division (16-18 years).

For the past two years she dominated the sport and is already the current World and European holder at a lower age bracket (13-15 years of age).

Her new division has not stopped her taking wins in top European tournaments this year, including the Irish Open and the Hungarian World Cup earlier in the season.

Last year at the European Championships she was voted the top athlete of the 13-15 years class.

Shannon Gayson has just turned 18 and is the current World bronze medallist in Points Fighting -60kg.

This, her final year as a junior, has seen her step up to -70kg division as she bids to make amends for her early defeat in the quarter-finals of last year’s European Championships in San Sebastian, Spain.

Darragh O’Mara is a giant when competing in the Older Cadets (13-15 years of age) +69kg, weighing in at just under 85kg.
He is already capped, having contested the World Championships two years ago in Rimini.

This year he has qualified in three disciplines, Kick Light, Continuous and Points Fighting.

Seventeen-year-old Luke Kelly is the newest member of the Clondalkin outfit to wear the Irish colours and has already made an impression by taking the National Points and Continuous titles back in April after narrowly missing out on a medal at this year’s Irish Open Tournament.

Eoghan Gorman received a late call-up to the official junior national team to represent Ireland in the upcoming Championships.

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