Nfld. & Labrador

N.L. team brings home memories and a lot of hardware from world championships

Athletes from Newfoundland and Labrador brought home gold, silver and bronze medals from an international karate and kickboxing championship earlier this month.

14 athletes competed at the 2019 World Karate and Kickboxing Commission's championships in Niagara Falls

Alex Foley, right, stands with the competitors who participated in the 2019 World Karate and Kickboxing Commission's World Championship earlier this month. (Submitted by Alex Foley)

An impressive group of local karate kids (and adults) came back from New York with a lot of hardware last week after winning 16 medals at an international competition in Niagara Falls.

The hardware haul for the competitors, who range in age from nine to 37, included four gold medals at the 2019 World Karate and Kickboxing Commission's world championships.

"They were super-happy," said Alex Foley, owner of Alex Foley's Academy of Martial Arts in Goulds and one of the coaches.

"It was a really high-level tournament."

The 14 competitors from Newfoundland and Labrador train at Foley's academy as well as at Rock Athletics in Mount Pearl with coach Robbie Wiseman, who also attended the tournament.

The competitors earned their spots among about 400 competitors on the national team after competing at the Canadian national qualifier in Gatineau, Que., in May and placing in the top four of their divisions.

Competitors from Alex Foley's martial arts studio visit Niagara Falls, displaying the Canadian and Newfoundland and Labrador flags. (Submitted by Alex Foley)

A lot of commitment was required after winning that spot, Foley said, with even the younger athletes training up to five or six days a week to prepare for the world championship, where they competed with 1,200 athletes from 17 countries around the world.

'As high as it gets'

Athletes from the two clubs have competed at the commission's world championship in the past, placing as high as second, but this year was the first with first-place finishes, Foley said.

The tournament was tough competition even for athletes who had won national titles in May, he said.

Rock Athletics competitors hold up the Canadian and Newfoundland flags at Niagara Falls. (Provided by Alex Foley)

"This is as high as it gets," he said.

As nice as the hardware is, the experience was also incredible, Foley said. The athletes walked in as part of the Canadian team during the ceremonies, and some heard the national anthem played as they received their own medals. Lifelong friends were made as well, he said.


"Just to perform on a world stage, you can't buy that experience," Foley said.

The competing athletes and their results are:

  • Ryan Bennett of Foley's, who won gold in continuous sparring 15-17 years 80-plus kg and gold in team continuous sparring 15-17 years 80-plus kg.
  • Lucas Crann of Rock, who won bronze in continuous sparring 15-17 years minus-60 kg.
  • Alex Fahey of Rock, who won silver in continuous sparring 13-14 years minus-45 kg.
  • Katelyn Farrell of Foley's, who competed in continuous sparring 13-14 years minus-55 kg.
  • Kyle Hickey of Rock, who competed in continuous sparring 18-34 years 90-plus kg.
  • Shae-Lynn Hopkins of Rock, who won silver in continuous sparring 18-34 years 70-plus kg.
  • Chloe Kieley of Foley's, who won gold in continuous sparring under-10 years minus-25 kg and silver in point sparring under-10 years minus-25 kg.
  • Faith Layden of Foley's, who won silver in continuous sparring 15-17 years minus-50 kg and bronze in point sparring 15-17 years minus-50 kg.
  • Mason Lee of Foley's, who won bronze in point sparring under-10 years minus-25 kg and bronze in team continuous sparring minus-10 years minus-35 kg.
  • Grace Pardy of Rock, who won bronze in continuous sparring 13-14 years minus-60 kg.
  • Faith Patey of Foley's, who won silver in continuous sparring 13-14 years minus-60 kg and bronze in point sparring 13-14 years minus-60 kg.
  • Jacob Skiffington of Rock, who won bronze in continuous sparring 15-17 years minus-65 kg.
  • Robbie Wiseman of Rock, who won gold in continuous sparring 35-plus years 85-plus kg.
  • Jimmy Yetman of Rock, who competed in continuous sparring 18-34 years minus-80 kg and point sparring 18-34 years minus-80 kg.

With the world championship behind them, the next step is preparing for the 2020 national competition, Foley said, which will be held in Ottawa in May.

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