THE WORLD HANDBALL championships played in City West have just come to a close in what was the greatest 10 days of handball in the history of the sport. Two thousand players took part from U-11 upwards male and female. The World number one, Paul Brady retained his crown for the fourth time in succession while Fiona Shannon lost her title to Aishling O'Reilly from Belfast.
The Carlow contingent gave a good account of themselves over the course of the championships. John Rossiter led the way with two silver medals in the DMAS and DMAD, Andy Ryan won silver with John in the doubles while John Ryan won silver with Paddy Donovan from Laois in the SMAD they were narrowly defeated in the final, 11-8 in the tie breaker. John Ryan also reached the semi-final of the SMAS where he lost out to John Libby from the USA.
In the U-11 singles Cormac O' Brien was defeated in the second round of the 40x20 and he also lost out in the second round of the One Wall to the world champion. Dinny Farrell competed in U-13 singles but lost in first round of 40x20 and One-Wall. Cormac and Dinny got great praise from spectators who were present at their matches for the quality of the handball they produced during the championships.
Martin Mullins reached the third round of the singles and in the doubles with Galen Riordan they lost in the quarter finals. Martin also competed in the One-Wall but lost in the second round. Jim O'Leary was defeated by Daniel Relihan in the second round of his match.
A total of 190 players entered the C singles and here Carlow players did really well. Padraig Townsend, Kevin Barrett got to the last 16 while Aaron Geoghegan reached the last 32. Barry Ramsey and Geoffrey Atkinson went down in the first round.
The C doubles saw Geoghegan and Barrett combine to reach the last 16 in 40x20 and the One-Wall.
Richard Delaney and Michael Delaney lost in the first round of the 40x20 MBS and Richard had the distinction of playing Duxie Walsh in the first round One-Wall where he lost 2-0. Michael Doyle and Eamon Sunderland competed in the EMAD and the GMBD where they were defeated in the first round.
Overall these championships have been a huge success for the game of handball and with a massive increase in numbers playing the game it is quite likely that handball will be the first GAA sport to be included in the Olympics in 2020.
Again Carlow handball board would like to congratulate Andy Ryan, John Rossiter and John Ryan our medal winners this time around and all of the Carlow players who competed in the championships.
The next World Championships will take place in Edmonton, Canada in 2015.