Doyle’s WAKO bronzes

by James Hendicott
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PALMERSTOWN Bushido fighter Kym Doyle took home kickboxing bronze medals in both her fighting categories as she represented Ireland at the WAKO World Cup in Dublin last weekend.
The young fighter, aged 13 and based in the Stewart’s Centre in Palmerstown, is currently ranked number three in the world in both continuous fighting and points fighting after her latest results.
She previously took four medals across the 42kg and 46kg weight categories at the WAKO European Cup in May, and is also the current holder of two national titles.
At the tournament in Citywest, Doyle fought solely in the 46kg category, where she faced girls in an age range 13-15, known as ‘older cadets’. In both semi-finals, she lost to the eventual winners.
In the points format of the sport, Doyle received a first round bye after her Polish opponent pulled out, and defeated an American fighter in the quarter final. In the semi-final, she was narrowly beaten after a head shot in the dying twenty seconds after a fiercely competitive fight against her Italian opponent.
The continuous contest saw Doyle score a first for that form of the sport at world level, defeating her South African quarter final opponent by “maxing”, a system that gives an automatic win when one fighter has been awarded fifteen points by every judge. She went on to be beaten by a German opponent, who again took the overall title.
“I didn’t know that it was the first time someone has ‘maxed’ an opponent until somebody told me later,” Doyle said. “I’m really happy because it’s a new rule, and I got to be the first.”
“There’s a lot of pressure at the World’s,” the kickboxer admitted, though she added that she didn’t feel a major difference compared to her earlier European level contests.
“We had about a day to rest and prepare between fights. I watched a few of my opponents where I had the chance, and some other fights.
“There was a lot of support from everyone as the home team,” Doyle added. “It felt a lot more comfortable to fight at home.”
The fighter’s ambitious long-term aim is to compete at the Olympics, with kickboxing applying to be included from 2024 onwards. Those at the head of the sport are optimistic about the possibilities of future inclusion, though the influence of host countries on new sports might play a role. The venue for 2024 is yet to be decided.
Overall, the Citywest World Championship tournament featured more than 2,500 fighters, with Ireland coming second in the medals table behind only Russia.

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