At the announcement of the World Shotokan Karate Open Championships in Cork were, front l-r: Danielle O'Donovan, Brian Toomey (Chief Instructor, IKJA), Aileen Hunter. Back, l-r: Joe Hunter, David O'Donovan, Paul Lynch, Ross Daly, PJ Moloney and Michael Bergin. (Picture: Brian Lougheed)

Competitors from more than 25 countries will descend on Cork next month for the 2017 World Shotokan Karate Open Championships will be held in UCC’s Mardyke Arena.

Supported by Fáilte Ireland, the event will take place from July 6 to 9 and will attract more than 1,500 participants and supporters to the county, which is expected to have a positive knock-on effect for the local economy.

This is the first time Ireland will host the prestigious world championships, a competition that Irish competitors are known to excel in. They brought home an unprecedented 88 medals from last year’s competition in Poznan, the most successful performance by an Irish Karate team to date. It is hoped that the team, 33 of whom are from Cork, will better last year’s record on home soil this year.

Head of the International Japan Karate Association (IJKA) in Ireland, Brian Twomey of Fermoy Karate Club said he is looking forward to hosting the championships in Cork, which previously hosted the European Championships in 1999 and 2003.

“Hosting an event this size requires considerable resources and if it were not for the support of all the participating clubs in Ireland and an amazing team of volunteers we would not be able to run such an event.”

Mr Twomey added: “I would also like to thank our sponsors Ford Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Cork County Council for their support as well as local businesses who have made generous donations.”

The event is free for all spectators over the four days and the event this year has World Wheelchair Karate and Mixed Ability Championships.

Further details are on the web site