Fired-up Ryan set to take on world's finest in Spain
Craig Ryan shoots for the stars when he competes for Ireland at the world class WKF Karate 1 Series A tournament in Spain this weekend. The 20-year-old from Lisburn, who trains with Ophir Karate in Belfast, will compete in the -75kg kumite (fighting) category in Toledo.
Ryan's instructor Siobhan Leckey said: "Craig has shown great discipline and commitment - as well as training locally he trains regularly with the Irish national senior male kumite squad.
"And this year he has had additional sessions with Antonio Oliva Seba, the world-renowned Spanish coach considered an expert on competition kumite.
"He has also trained with Frederico Silva, Portugal's national Wado-Kai coach.
"These sessions have helped him hone his fighting skills by developing his tournament tactics and building upon his repertoire of fighting drills," his coach said.
WKF (World Karate Federation) have introduced a number of tournaments to be held worldwide called the 'K1' - these events allow karate-ka to be selected by their national federation with the aim of improving their ranking status in preparation for the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020.
"If Craig can put in a good performance he has every chance of being selected by Mark Sheridan, the Irish national male senior kumite coach, for the WKF World Under-21 Championship later this year in Tenerife," added his coach.