Taekwondo: We’ve mentioned Jack Woolley’s exploits in the World of WTF Taekwondo on SportsNews Ireland in the past especially when he came so close to qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games but now comes news that he is the new World No.1 (54kg), the first time an Irishman has reached that exalted position in the charts.
Jack’s story has a ‘bit of a twist’ as he is a teenager who is in the middle of his Leaving Cert exams at the same time as competing and making the podium at major international events such as winning gold at the recent African Presidents Cup.
He has numerous sporting accolades under his belt and will be flying out to Korea the day after his exams finish to compete at the World Championships.
As Taekwondo is a minority sport in Ireland unlike other countries where it is on national television and has massive funding and support, Jack has overcome many hurdles to reach this goal that many only ever dream about.
It is an amateur sport unlike say MMA so there is no financial incentive to win, only the glory of standing on the podium with your country’s flag raised behind you.
The young Dubliner had this to say on hearing the good news:
“I AM World No.1 !!!!!!!!!! It’s been a really tough 2 and a half years of transferring from Junior to Senior but I’ve done it! Ecstatic is an absolute understatement and I want to say I wouldn’t be where I am today without my friends, family and coaches but most importantly my coach Robert Taaffe.
The most inspirational coach out there he works just as hard as me and dedicates himself and his time to the sport. This is only the beginning of Irish Taekwondo and I guarantee there will be many more World number 1s and Olympic level athletes to come from Ireland “☘️