Last Wednesday morning 29th October Marykate Finnegan from Rossnowlagh, Donegal along with 13 of her team mates from Karate Club Green Dragon (Sligo) flew out to Carrara, Italy to compete in the WTKA-WKA Unified World Championships. This is the biggest martial arts event in the World with over 10,000 competing.
After four long days with competitions in 33 martial arts disciplines, with athletes from 120 countries the Unified World Championships came to an end on Sunday night.
Marykate, who is 12 years, has won 3 gold and 1 silver medals in traditional karate and point fighting in her age group.
All her hard work has paid off and she fought like a true champ.
Her greatest triumph came in the point fighting 12/13 U-160cm discipline where she competed against girls a year older than herself. She defeated an Italian in the quarter-final and an English opponent to reach the final where she defeated Caitin McIver from Swansea, Wales
A big thank you to Sensei’s John Sweeney in Sligo and Michael Sweeney in Kinlough, and all the Green Dragon Squad who looked out for her and cheered her on.
The team brought home a total of 41 gold medals, 14 silver medals and 10 bronze, that’s why they call us the fighting Irish. The Irish National Anthem played all day long in the stadium in Carrara. The rest of the team who hail from counties Sligo and Leitrim are as follows: Sinéad Smith, Mahon Meldrum, Niamh McCauley, Orla McNabola, Fran King, Hannah Kelly, Nyah Meldrum, Niamh Brennan, Aine Kelly, Shane Mc Inerney, Clodagh Boland and Liam Codd.
The Green Dragon club hold their classes in Kinlough every Tuesday night from 6-8 p.m. in the Kinlough Community Centre.