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Craig Ryan setting sights on the Tokyo Olympics after sealing Irish gold

By Adam McKendry

Published 14/09/2016

Craig Ryan and his mum Noreen
Craig Ryan and his mum Noreen

Lisburn's Craig Ryan made history by winning gold at the first ever Irish International Karate Championships in Tallaght at the weekend.

Nineteen-year-old Ryan, who is a member of Ophir Karate, took first place in the Men's Senior kumite 75kg division, as well as winning silver in the Under-21 75kg section.

The tournament attracted in excess of 500 athletes over 50 different categories and divisions for both men and women, with teams from as far as Portugal, Slovenia and Canada competing.

But it was Northern Ireland's Ryan who came top of the pile, and was unlucky not to bring home two gold medals after his narrow defeat in the Under-21 final.

The Lisburn fighter is now heading to Berlin to compete in the Banzai Cup on Saturday before going to Belgium to appear in the Federation of European Wado-Kai Championship.

Ryan says it is his goal to represent Ireland in karate at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, where the sport will make its debut at the Games.

Belfast Telegraph

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