Colindale-based martial artist Jackie Holohan is delighted after an impressive performance in the China Wanning Cup last weekend.
Jackie, whose family come from Kilkenny and Mayo, was selected to travel to Hainan to compete in this year’s Open World Championship having won three gold medals at the English Open Championships in Derby in September.
At this year’s English Open Jackie, who trains with Master Wolf’s Taekwon-Do Academy in Hendon, won golds in sparring, pattern and breaking.
Although Jackie did not come away from China with a medal, a huge step up in weight means she has gained invaluable experience from fighting the world’s best kickboxers on an international stage.
“I usually fight in the -50kg category, but this competition only had -60 and +60kg. My first continuous fight was a split decision and my coaches and team mates watching said they thought I should have won it,” she told The Irish World.
She is currently at 4th kup red stripe level, which is 3 belts away from a black belt, but in kickboxing competitions has faced up to black belt opposition each time.
“They think I have improved a lot and fought well and hearing that from them meant more to me than winning a medal.
“I was then entered into the ‘all in’ category, which is all weights, for continuous where I fought a Thai fighter. I lost but came out unmarked and injury free which I am grateful for!”
Jackie then went on to compete in the -60kg points fighting and remarkably came away with points having only started competing in the sport 18 months ago.
“It has been a wonderful experience and I am extremely grateful for all of the support I have received from family, friends and colleagues. I look forward to seeing them all when I get back on Wednesday,” she added.