A Smithers man defended his title as a kickboxing world champion in Ireland last week.
Dave Percy, co-owner of C.O.B. Bike Shop brought home gold for the third year in a row at the WKC World Championships from Oct. 6-9.
Coach Marwan Abu Khadra said Percy’s final fight was against an opponent who was roughly a head taller than him, but he still managed to control a majority of the fight.
“It was intense. The last fight was the best fight where he won gold,” said Abu Khadra.
“They both wanted badly to win the fight, but Dave mastered the ring quite well. He controlled the fight from the beginning to the end. He had the right timing, the right technique for answering to the opponent. It was very, very good.”
He added that Percy was very well-prepared conditionally and fought aggressively to help him capture gold.
Along with gold, Percy also took home bronze in two other categories: the team continuous fighting and the continuous fighting over 18 years old.
Seventeen-year-old Tareq Abu Khadra made his fourth appearance at the world championships. But this was the first year he medalled, winning three silvers in continuous and point fighting for boys 16-17 years of age and team point fighting.
According to Abu Khadra, Tareq’s best performance was in point fighting.
“I didn’t have to coach Tareq at all. Tareq mastered that fantastically right at the beginning and he scored eight points to one. The German had no chance whatsoever,” he said.
Tareq said training and perseverance helped him place for the first time at the worlds.
“We did lots of training, you have to be focused. You can’t always win right off the bat, you need experience,” he said. “I spent lots of hours training during the week, never missed any classes and set it a priority above anything else.”
Abu Khadra agreed.
“It’s all training, routines and staying on the ball. You have to train to get the best results,” said Abu Khadra.
“Most of the time the technical ability isn’t the question, it’s the conditioning and the stamina at the end.”
Tristan Hunt, 13 and Ben Glanz, 8, also travelled to Ireland, but did not medal.
Abu Khadra said both had excellent fights against older opponents.
“Ben had to fight people four years older and that’s very tough, but he did very well,” said Abu Khadra.
“Tristan just turned 13 and he fights people who are 15 years old.”
Overall, Abu Khadra said all four Smithers competitiors held their own against fighters from around the world.
“Their opponents were very, very strong, well prepared and we had a really hard time adjusting, but we achieved very good results, we won lots of events,” he said, adding that the Canadian team usually returns with the most amount of medals.