Donna O’Mahony World Taekwon-Do Champion
Donna O’Mahony • Sport: Taekwon Do • Nationality: Irish • Age: 15
Donna (centre) with her teammates DominikaMatczak and Natalia Hefkaluk who took home bronze medals in team events.
Cork’s young champion • Donna O’Mahoney won a gold and silver medal at the World Taekwon Do Championships in Coventry last summer. • Donna is from Midleton, Co.Cork. • Donna is fifteen years old and has been studying for her Junior Certificate. • Donna only took Taekwon-Do two years ago when she was thirteen.
Double winner • Donna took home gold for her green belt sparring category, and a silver medal when she fought up a division to join the Junior Ladies Irish Black Belt Team with fellow club mate VerlineBeunchou and Irish fighter Courtney Casey from Blackrock TKD. • The trio got through to the finals, only just losing out to the USA.
Support for Donna • Donna didn’t realise she had won the World Championship title until she turned to see her trainer, James Dwyer, “celebrating like crazy.” • Her father Jason, was equally excited though he couldn’t make the Championships in person. • Donna’s dad said: “When Donna rang me and described herself to me as a World Champion, well, suffice to say it is one of those moments a father will never forget, it was very emotional. • “We had sent Donna there to learn from the experience of a major international event, in no way did we envisage that she would bring home a medal on a world stage, much less a gold & silver.” • “She is well trained by James Dwyer, who himself is a 5th degree Black Belt and deserves all the credit for her abilities and success in the sport.”
The Road to Rio • With Rio 2016 just around the corner, who knows what Donna O’Mahony can achieve with three extra years’ practise. • One thing’s for sure, she won’t be lacking in support.
I could go on about why Tae Kwon Do is great for ages, but mainly, in my opinion, it is fun, it improves fitness and it helps with self-defense. A lot of my friends joined when I was 13 so I followed them. It also improves team-work and self-discipline, some things you don’t find in other sports.
Irish Taekwon-Do Team place second overall • Donna’s success was quickly followed in October with the Irish Taekwon-Do Team coming second overall in the World Championships. • The ITF Taekwon-Do World Championships were held in Benidorm, Spain from the 23rd to the 27th of October. • 1054 black belt competitors from 58 countries competed for the title of world champion across the four disciplines of Taekwon-Do.
Most successful irish team ever • The Irish teams have competed at the world championships, which are held every two years, since the 1978 championships but never with such distinction. • Ireland placed second overall out of 58 countries with 10 Gold, 6 Silver and 11 Bronze medals, leaving Ireland just behind Poland (13 Gold, 6 Silver and 8 Bronze).