Coast kickboxers make podium at world championship in Austria

Sunshine Coast kickboxers took home three medals from the 2019 World Kickboxing and Karate Union (WKU) World Kickboxing Championships in Bregenz, Austria from Oct. 15 to 21.

Ryan Daley, fire chief at the Halfmoon Bay Volunteer Fire Department, won the K1 championship and took silver in full contact, while 19-year-old Noah O’Sullivan placed second in the light contact category.

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“They looked awesome. I was talking to the president of WKU, who is also head coach for Team Canada and she told me they both did absolutely amazing,” said their coach Dave Hollett.

Daley knocked out his opponent in the K1 gold medal finals, while O’Sullivan told Hollett that “the mental game gets the better of him.”

“It’s the only reason he didn’t win the gold,” said Hollett.

The athletes won the WKU Canadian National Kickboxing Championships in the spring, where Hollett also competed and won the nationals in four divisions. Both O’Sullivan and Daley are expected to compete at the WKU Nationals in March 2020, and Hollett also expects them to compete in future international events.

While Hollett continues coaching on the Sunshine Coast, the 40-year old has podium ambitions of his own. He was recently selected to represent Canada at the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) Senior World Championships in Turkey this November.

He’ll be the only representative from B.C. at the championships, which he described as the world’s largest and most competitive kickboxing competition. “I’m going for gold,” he said.

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