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'I'm just over the moon - all the hard work is paying off': Bronze medal for Cork's Sean McCarthy at Youth Olympics

The teenager came up short in the Men’s Kumite semi-finals but certainly made his mark on the tournament.

McCathy pictured at the 2018 Irish Karate International Open three weeks ago.
McCathy pictured at the 2018 Irish Karate International Open three weeks ago.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IRELAND HAVE SECURED their third medal at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games after Sean McCarthy claimed bronze in the Men’s Kumite +68kg semi-finals.

The Cork native — who won European silver in Sochi back in February — came up short against Moroccan Nabil Ech-Chaabi and suffered a 2-1 defeat which meant he didn’t get to battle for gold. 

“It’s disappointing but I’ll watch it back and figure out how to fix it the next time,” he said afterwards.

“I should have been more precise with it but it’s grand.”

McCarthy had finished second in Pool B, securing four points with wins against Tomas Kosa of Slovakia and Japan’s Keisei Sakiyama in Buenos Aires.

The 2018 Games is the first time karate has been entered as an Olympic sport and McCarthy certainly made his mark.

“Amazing, I’m just over the moon,” he said.

All the hard work is paying off, so it’s great. It’s a lot different to any other tournament I’ve been to with the crowd and all the cameras and everyone watching back home. It’s different, but I was prepared.” 

“My family are the only reason I’m here,” he added, with his identical twin brother Chris sitting in the crowd. “If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here.”

His success is Ireland’s third medal in Argentina. 17-year-old Dubliner Niamh Coyne secured silver last Thursday in the women’s 100m breaststroke, while Dearbhla Rooney won bronze in women’s featherweight boxing.

The Closing Ceremony takes place tonight in Buenos Aires with Rooney handed the honour of carrying the tricolour.

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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher

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