Ireland are unbelievably ranked number 3 in the world in the official WAKO world rankings (by countries) just released on the 13th April 2017.
Russia are number one, Italy second and Ireland third, just ahead of Great Britain and Hungary (4th and 5th consecutively).
This is an amazing achievement for our small nation that receives no funding for the team development or athletes from Sport Ireland. Kickboxing is a recognised sport under Sport Ireland (governing body for sports in Ireland).
Under the auspice of KBI – Kickboxing Ireland (the only governing body for kickboxing in Ireland), it has progressed in to the top 5 countries in the world. This is hugely thanks to the ongoing development of club coaches, national coaches and fighters who continue to improve and want to develop their skills to reach the coveted number one spot in the world.
Ireland has always been in the limelight with legends of Irish kickboxing like Roy Baker (current KBI president & WAKO vice-president), Nicola Corbett, Sally McArdle, Darragh Geoghegan, Bobby O’Neill, Dave Heffernan and Ilija Salerno as the first Irish fighter to win a WAKO-Pro world title. Nowdays Ireland’s Robbie McMenamy is one of the top fighters in the world in points fighting, Peter Carr, Niall Carroll, Seanned Flynn and Aaron O’reilly just to name a few are on the forefront of Full Contact kickboxing for Ireland. In light continuous the likes of Lauren Bradshaw, Tony Stephenson, Lilly De-lacour, Dessie Leonard, Brendan Kenny are just a handful of names that have pushed Light Contact in Ireland as one of the best countries in the world.
Our juniors are by far some of the best juniors in the world winning numerous world and european titles and adding the best fighter award to their names like Jordan Doran, Peter Carr and Karyna Nikitina. The like of Conor McGLinchey, Troy Gannon, Keri Brown are only a small handful of names that are classed as the junior elite athletes in the world today.
Forms is also in the increase and it has defenetly helped in the world rankings. Billy McLawrence, Max Lennon and Conor Sharkey would be classed in the top junior forms competitors today.
Again, there are lots more names in forms, continuous, points and full contact that are worth mentioning that are part of the reason why Ireland is now ranked number 3 in the world today. What was mentioned above are just a scraping of the talent Ireland has produced and is still producing to this day with no government funding.
Full credit to all the coaches and parents who are committed in the sport of Kickboxing in Ireland.
The official ranking can be viewed in the link below: