Friday, May 24, 2024

Ireland hooks gold at Fishing World Championship

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Ireland has won gold at the Feeder Fishing World Championship for Nations held in Mérida, Spain for the first time.

Ireland’s coarse fishing team included James O’Doherty, Rory Dunne, Michael Buchwalder, Charlie Richards and Johnny Mckinley.

They range in age from mid-20s to 40s, and they have been involved in the sport for about six years fishing across lakes and rivers on the island of Ireland.

Team manager Brenton Sweeney said that the team are non-professional but faced teams from 20 other countries as part of the competition.

“This is the first time that Ireland have ever won any team medal abroad in coarse fishing in 50 years.

“The competition was unbelievable, Mérida had the best river we have ever fished. The water was incredible, full of carp of all shapes and sizes”.

He explained that the premise of the competition involves using a net to catch fish in freshwater, weighing the fish before putting it back into the water, and a points system is then used to calculate points based on the weight of the fish.

The Irish team were successful, catching carp, catfish and carassio, with the fish weighing from 25kg to 40kg.

The Irish team with their supporters in Mérida, Spain

“The competition atmosphere was absolutely brilliant. Some of the other teams are professional, it’s what they do for a living and they have bigger sponsorships – that’s not us, so to win bronze or silver would have been brilliant but winning gold, it’s absolutely amazing.

“That just makes it even more special, we are all very proud and we’ve had a great time,” said Mr Sweeney.

The Irish team won a gold medal together, but Mr Buchwalder also won gold in the individual section.

The team is now ranked eighth in the world.

James O’Doherty (left) with Nigel Holdsworth

Mr Sweeney said that he hopes the latest Irish win will attract young people into the sport, as he said it is open to everyone across the island of Ireland and has a long history of camaraderie.

He added that the team tend to fish on the River Shannon, and lakes like Lough Muckno in Monaghan and in Lough Iniscarra in Co Cork, and are looking forward getting back home.

Celebrations for the Irish team’s return are being organised, after they have spent nearly two weeks training and competing in Spain.

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