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Leah smashes pain barrier on her way to gold

By Graham Luney

Leah McCourt has added a gold medal at the IBJJF world championships in San Francisco to the IMMAF featherweight amateur world title she won last summer.

The 24-year-old from Belfast smashed through the pain barrier of a broken thumb in the no-gi competition and picked up two submissions and a points victory on her way to the gold medal.

It seems that McCourt has the grappling world at her feet with a stunning list of achievements to date and more success likely on the horizon.

McCourt commented on Twitter: "IBJJF World champion - broken thumb, horrendous jet lag and so nervous I was about to faint/ had to dig deep today. Philipians 4:13".

A move to professional mixed martial arts could await one of Ireland's top combat competitors.

Last summer, McCourt took top prize in the featherweight division of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation amateur world championships in the United States.

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