The Irish Open was bigger and better than ever!
The 2016 Irish Open was bigger and better than ever. Held the weekend of March 4-6, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland, promoter Roy Baker was proud to announce that in 2017 he may have to limit the number of entrants due to size!
The prestige of the Irish Open comes from the sheer number of competitors as well as the quality. Europe and North America’s best show up. And this year, great competitors from Mexico and Central and South America added to the mix.
In fighting, the team divisions and open weight divisions are the key to glory. In men’s teams, an injury to Team All Stars’ Trevor Nash caused him to bow out and take a 10 point loss. His teammates could not bring the team back and All Stars were eliminated early. In the end, Team Kiraly was able to take both the men’s and women’s team sparring titles. Kiraly definitely defined itself as the best European point fighting team in the world.
Bev Sturzaker of the United Kingdom has been consistently improving in her fighting over the years and 2016 was definitely her year. She faced off against Evelyn Neyens of Norway for the women’s open weight title. Sturzaker was calm, cool and collected as she took the title.
For the open weight men’s competition, Raymond Daniels, Roman Bruendl, Zsolt Moradi and Tamas Imre were the final four. In round one, Daniels faced off agains the legs of Bruendl and it was a fight to the end. Bruendl pulled ahead and Daniels could not catch up in the two round moving Brunedl ahead. Then Moradi and Bruendl fought for the title with Moradi’s kicks topping the Austrians and Moradi winning the Open Weight title for men.
The one area that the Irish Open has really expanded in is forms and weapons. A huge number of competitors were on hand for the enhanced divisions. Team Paul Mitchell’s Tyler Weaver and Reid Presley took many top honors and impressed the crowd.
Overall, the Irish Open had another amazing year, with growth, big names and expanded divisions. With the new registration limits going into effect in 2017, you better be ready to register early. In fact, the hotel is already sold out nearly a year in advance!