STRABANE’S very own Karate Kid, Lucas McColgan, is only eight years of age but he has already earned three medals at World level and just a couple of weeks ago he added a European bronze medal to his incredible list of successes.
The P5 pupil at St Mary’s Primary School has been practicing the martial art of karate for just over three years, since February 2015, and although he has only been competing since September of that year, he has already amassed an unbelievable total of 62 medals.
While his success is somewhat surprising to those outside his family and the North West Shotokan Karate Club, it is perhaps understandable given his father Ethan O’Donnell is a former World and European medalist and his uncle Sloan is also an Irish international of note.
However, while nature has played a part in his achievements, the accolades and honours Lucas has earned have all come due to his dedication and desire to improve.
“He trains hard, five or six days a week. We don’t have to push him, he wants to do it,” explained Ethan.
“He’s enjoying a lot of success and I think he’s already won more medals than me and his uncle Sloan! He’s been at it three years altogether, competing for two. He’s been to 27 competitions and has won 24 gold, 24 silver and 14 bronze medals! He’d need a spare room for them all!”
Despite his tender years, Lucas trains two nights per week with his club, two nights a week at JD’s Boxercise classes in Fountain Street Community Centre, and he trains twice a week at home with his father Eathan or uncle Sloan.
All that effort has certainly proved worthwhile thus far and on the weekend of October 26 and 27 he enjoyed his latest international success in Malta.
While on the Mediterranean island representing Ireland at the WUKF European Karate Championships, he won a bronze medal in Kumite and he also made it through to the finals of Kata, where he placed sixth out of 17 competitors.
There was a total of 25 competitors in the Kumite section of the ‘Children All Belts 8 Years Open Category’. In his first fight, Lucas beat his Welsh opponent 4-0, then accounted for a Scottish rival 4-1 and followed that up with a 4-1 triumph over an Italian allowing him to progress to the semi-finals where he faced a fighter from Romania.
Lucas went 2-0 down in this fight but brought it back to 2-2 before the Romanian scored an Ippon, taking the scoreline to 4-2 and winning the fight meaning the Strabane lad had to settle for third place and the bronze European medal.
FULL STORY IN THURSDAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE