This week, Tony Stephenson of West Cork, Ireland, competed in the WAKO senior European kickboxing championships. He got a bronze medal, which qualified him for the European Games, which will be held in Poland next summer.
At the senior European Championships, which took place in Antalya, Turkey, West Cork Kickboxing Club member Stephenson, along with three other club members, competed.
In order to compete in the weight classification that counts toward qualification for the European Games, Stephenson, the current world champion, had to move up two weight classes. In the first round of qualifying on Monday, he breezed through his match against a Greek opponent. In spite of the fact that he had to make substantial compromises in terms of height, weight, and power in order to compete, he defeated a German opponent on Friday and went to the finals. The unfortunate circumstances of the man from Bantry were made worse when, in the previous frame, he suffered an ankle dislocation. Stephenson was the first athlete from Ireland to qualify for the European Games in his category. Once there, he went on to win a silver medal at the competition.
The first person to represent West Cork in the championships was Deirdre Connolly, who took part in the competition. Even if her greatest efforts were not enough to win, she may be able to find some solace in the fact that she was defeated by the ultimate champion, a Polish adversary who she had previously prevailed over. Early on in the conflict, Greg Sheehan successfully eliminated his Azerbaijani opponent. After surviving the first round, he proceeded to the quarterfinals where he was victorious over a Turkish competitor who is highly renowned. However, he was eliminated from competition in the semifinals by a very skilled competitor from Poland, who went on to take home the gold medal. Sheehan was nonetheless presented with a bronze medal for their efforts.
On Tuesday, Hannah Green defeated competitors from England and Turkey to earn a spot in the championship match. On Wednesday, Green will take on the holder of the World and European titles. In spite of Hannah’s best efforts, the Dutch girl ultimately prevailed because of her extensive knowledge advantage. The first-ever silver medal that Hannah won at a senior European tournament will serve as motivation for her to continue to strive for a championship.
The West Cork Kickboxing Club has gone a long way, as evidenced by Stephenson’s preliminary qualifying for the 2023 European Games in Poland, as well as the club’s three medals from the European Senior Kickboxing Championships.