There was local success at the World Police and Fire Games last week.
Colin McDonell was one of Northern Ireland’s leading medal winners, taking a gold and two bronze medals in the karate competitions.
He has been a member of Banbridge Karate Club for many years and has past experience of competing at a national level, but said the experience was one that he would never forget.
“When I started going to karate a few years ago I never could have imagined that I would be competing at this level - never mind winning gold medals,” he said.
“It was a fantastic experience. There were a lot of language barriers with so many countries being represented, but everyone seemed to muddle through.”
Colin won gold in the -85kg brown belt category and took bronze in the black belt section and the kata.
“It was tough but I found it interesting to fight against people with different styles,” Colin added.
“When you go to the British Championships over a period of years you almost know what to expect, but with this I didn’t know what I would be facing.
“Some competitors, like myself, go for style over anything else but there were some very powerful, hard hitting competitors.
“I still have some bruised ribs and a black eye to prove it too!”
Colin’s coach at Banbridge Karate Club, Sensei Kevin Broderick, said that he had worked hard to win the medals.
“It’s a fantastic achievement for Colin and we would like to congratulate him on his success,” said Kevin. “He’s been a member of the club for a number of years and it’s a big moment for us as well.”
The Games closed on Saturday - the final element of the two week festival of 56 sports in which took place in 41 venues across Northern Ireland. Almost 7,000 competitors from 67 countries participated.