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  • Northside West

Finglas kickboxer does the double

Saturday, 14th September, 2019 9:00am
Finglas kickboxer does the double

Robyn McDonnell from Finglas is a double winner.

Finglas kickboxer does the double

Robyn McDonnell from Finglas is a double winner.

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FINGLAS kickboxing sensation Robyn McDonnell (17) did the double at the recent WAKO European Kickboxing Championships in the beautiful Hungarian city of Gyor.

The young fighter who hails from Dunsoghly was part of a large Irish team and she competed in the Light Contact and Kick Light -70kg divisions.

This double win topped a very successful year for Robyn who also notched up victories at the Irish Open, the All Ireland championships and won at an invitational pro kickboxing gala in Tortona, Italy.

The WAKO (World Association of Kickboxing Organisations) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and is the premiere amateur kickboxing organisation in the world.

The European championships attracted over 2,000 fighters from across 39 European countries. Robyn had to beat fighters from Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey, Italy and Spain to advance into her finals where she won both Light Contact and Kick Light divisions.

Light Contact kickboxing is a fast, tough and technical flowing style of kickboxing performed on open tatami mats. Kick Light is a version of Low Kick kickboxing also performed on the open tatami where competitors are allowed collect scores by kicking the inside and outside of the upper leg of their opponents.

Robyn was naturally delighted with her performances.

"I'm just over the moon to win these titles," she said. "They don't come easy. I had some very tough opponents to get past and thankfully we managed to get the tactics right and take the wins.

“Winning one division at the European Championships is an amazing achievement; to win two is rare and I'm chuffed to have done it. No other Irish athlete has achieved this."

Robyn has been a member of Red Star Kickboxing since she was aged just eight. Her long time coach, Jon Mackey, is no stranger to success at WAKO championships.

Robyn is the fourth female athlete to win international titles under his guidance.

Mackey says the key to Robyn's success is consistency.

"I'm over the moon for Robyn, she has had a super year,” he added.

“Robyn is the fourth athlete to win at such a level from Red Star where I've been coaching for 15 years. Consistency is key to such success, consistency in understanding junior talent development models, consistency in ensuring fun is to the fore, consistency in non-early specialisation models and consistency in good communication with parents.

“For me the big achievement is not in Robyn's European titles at the age of 17, it is the fact that she has remained training with Red Star and with kickboxing since she was eight-years-old.

“This is the real success for me. Kickboxing is a late specialisation sport and ensuring the right pathway for children is crucial to their long-term involvement with it.

“As coaches we have a responsibility to guide and nurture children through sport without early specialisation models - this is key!"

On behalf of us all at the Northside People, well done Robyn!

Robyn in action agaisnt a Turkish fighter.

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