Corkman Sean McCarthy Crean has qualified for the semi-finals of the Men’s Kumite +68kg Semi Finals at the Youth Olympic Games today. The Cloghroe Karate Club member won two of his three rounds in Pool B of the Elimination Rounds, moving to the semi-finals with a bronze medal now guaranteed.
Speaking after his round an elated McCarthy said, “Amazing, I’m just over the moon, I can’t believe it, all the hard work has paid off, so it’s great.”
As with all the events at these Games, there were long queues to enter, and packed venues, “It’s really good – a lot different to any of the tournaments I’ve ever been to, especially the crowds and all the cameras, and everyone watching it back home. It’s different, but I was prepared, and I knew I was going go and win.”
McCarthy narrowly beat his identical twin brother Chris to qualify for the Youth Olympic Games, and his brother was sitting in the crowd with his parents and sister cheering today, “He’s the reason I’m here, and my family they’re the only reason why I’m here, if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here – my family and my coaches, they’re the reason I’m here.”
Karate was introduced to the Olympic programme this Olympiad, and will feature at the Tokyo Games for the first time, making today’s success all the sweether. “It should always have been there,” the seventeen your old said, “Karate is a great sport, even for the fans, everyone likes it I think – it’s great that it’s there!”
McCarthy will now compete in the semi finals at 18:30 Irish time competing against Morocan Nabil Ech-Chaabi. The gold medal round takes place at 18:56 Irish time.