Local duo named in Irish team

by Stephen Findlater

ALEX Plamadeala, 16, and Joanne Deegan, 28, helped Blanchardstown Taekwon-Do Club celebrate their 11th birthday in style this week as the duo are looking forward to being the club’s first representatives in the world championships.

The pair were named in the Irish squad for the biennial elite event which takes place in Spain at the end of October.

It caps a remarkable 12 months for the club after they were named club of the year back in April for overall improvements across the board.

Speaking about the recent accolades, club instructor Ger O’Rourke hailed the pair’s recent results

“Alex had a great result at the last tournament of the year in the Watershed arena in Kilkenny at the beginning of June where he won three gold medals. Joanne has picked up three silvers so far this year which nailed her selection,” he told GazetteSport.

“It is the highlight for the sport. Last time it was in New Zealand and it is the first time we’ve ever had someone from the club selected. Alex was too young the last time round while Joanne only recently got her space at this level so it’s a really big thing for the club.

“In total, the Irish team has about 52 slots for the world championships but some athletes compete in more than one discipline. It’s quite a strong squad and it will probably end up with about 30 or so fighters. Alex and Joanne will both compete in the individual sparring and the team event but Alex also does the power-breaking and the patterns.”

Plamadeala has previously been to the European championships as well as the World Cup event in England, an open event, but the world championships are a step up with all entrants selected, meaning only the elite athletes compete.

O’Rourke says that both club members are looking to make their mark in a big way at the competition.

“Over the past number of years, Ireland has been getting stronger. With that success, everyone has been brought along with it and so medals would definitely be a target. With that, though, it being a world championship, you have to take each round as it comes.”

The club itself runs classes six days a week across a number of venues including Coolmine sports centre, Blakestown community centre along with a full-time centre in Rosemount business park.

There, most classes take place in a fully matted area with all the equipment.

For more information about Blanchardstown TKD, contact blanchardstown.tkd@gmail.com.

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