They say winning a WAKO European Kickboxing title is an amazing achievement, but winning a European title twice is really something to behold.
But Cabra girl Lauren Bradshaw did just that, winning her second European Kickboxing title at the recent WAKO (World Association of Kickboxing Organisations) European championships which were held in the beautiful Basque region of San Sebastian. The WAKO championships are the elite of Kickboxing international tournaments with just under 2,000 athletes lining out to win the coveted title.
Lauren had won the title for the first time in Poland in 2013 after eliminating the then current world champion from Croatia and beating national champions from Macedonia, Poland and Turkey. This time round she was the defending champion and made no mistakes on her way to securing her second title. Bradshaw who trains out of Jon Mackey’s Red Star Kickboxing club in Glasnevin had to square off against national champions from Croatia, Britain and Germany in order to be crowned with the prestigious title. Her final bout against the reigning German national champion was poetry in motion as she out witted the strong German with aggressive and clever tactics.
Lauren formed part of a large Irish squad representing the national governing body for kickboxing in Ireland – Kickboxing Ireland (KBI). In order to represent her country she had to win the national championships at her current weight category of 70kg’s.
Her long time coach Jon Mackey had this to say –
“Lauren has been training with me since she was seven years of age. She recently turned 18. This second title is an accumulation of over ten years hard work and commitment to her sport. She is a fantastic young woman who continues to amaze me every time she steps into the ring.”
“Being an achiever in sport is so hard as a teenager. There are so many social distractions. Teenagers can be more preoccupied with Facebook and taking selfies than realising their unlocked potential at sport. Lauren is one of a few young athletes that have broken the social norms, for that alone she will inspire others to do likewise.” Mackey said.
Lauren won’t be taking too much of a rest however after winning her title back as she lines out for the first time with the Irish senior squad this coming November for the WAKO World Championships which are being held in City West Dublin.