Kickboxers impress in Dublin

Kickboxers from Boston's Team Evolution competed at the Irish Open 2016 at City West Conference Centre in Dublin over the weekend of March 4 to 6.

Nesta Baxter of Evolution picks up a silver medal at the Irish Open championships EMN-160314-094944002
Nesta Baxter of Evolution picks up a silver medal at the Irish Open championships EMN-160314-094944002

This prestigious event attracts more than 4,000 athletes from all around the world.

It was an excellent tournament for 15-year-old Nesta Baxter. Competing in the ladies’ (19+) -55kg continuous category, she went on to pick up a silver medal.

She opened with two wins in the elimination rounds, beating Irish and Italian opponents to qualify for the quarter-finals.

In her quarter-final, Nesta fought a very good Welsh fighter, Rachel House, and came through a tough fight to set up a semi-final clash with Italian fighter Giorgio Caputo. This bout was very tactical, but Nesta put in a great performance to book her place in the final at the Gala Night Show.

Luna Mendy, a top class senior continuous fighter, was Nesta’s opponent in the final and there was little between them throughout the contest until Luna picked up a late score to win 2-1 and collect the gold medal.

For Nesta, winning a silver medal in such a world class competition was a notable performance.

Nesta also competed in the junior (16-18yrs) girls’ -55kg points fighting section, winning her opening fight before narrowly losing to a very good Hungarian fighter, 7-5.

Other club members fighting in Dublin included Kev Hunter, who reached the quarter-finals in the men’s -89kg continuous before losing a close bout to a Northern Irish fighter.

Mark Baldry, competing in the men’s veterans +89kg continuous category, lost a great fight against a fellow British fighter 2-1, and Chelsea Leggatt, 16, in the junior (16-18) girls’ -70kg point fighting, took on an opponent from Belgium and put up an excellent show before losing 6-4.

In the men’s veteran +89kg points fighting category, John Chambers narrowly lost to a strong Irish fighter after a close fight.

There were also good performances from Riley Brocklesby, 8 (under 9-year-old points fighting), Paige Stedman, 10 (-32kg girls’ younger cadet 10-12yr-old points fighting and -37kg younger cadet girls’ points fighting); Talon Chambers, 9 (9-10-year-old category), Zac Baldry, 11 (-42kg younger cadet boys’ points fighting category).

In the grand champion open weight section, Team Evolution were represented by John Chambers, Chelsea Leggatt and Nesta Baxter.

Chelsea lost a hard-fought bout in the junior girls’ section, 8-6, while Nesta, also in the junior girls’ section, lost against an Italian fighter by one point.

In the men’s open weight, John put up a strong showing against a multi ple world champion American fighter from the All Star team and was justifiably very proud with his performance.