Sunday 26 February 2017

'Only clowns think it's not for girls' - Jodie 'The Beast' McCarthy (10) returns as a world champion with six golds

Mark McConville

Mark McConville

IT takes a lot to be a world champion and even reading this Cork child's training schedule would make an average person feel tired.

Little Jodie McCarthy has been training since she was five years old but has been Thai boxing for less than two years.

This pint-sized fighter has won belts and gold medals all around the world, and recently won six gold medals in three weight divisions at the World Championships in both Muay Thai and K1. She succeeded at under 31kg, 35kg and 40kg weight categories and won gold in the latter against an opponent a third of her weight heavier than her.

But all the glory doesn't come easy.

"I train Thai Boxing twice a week, Brazilian Jiu Jit Su once a week and MMA once a week," she told Independent.ie.

"I do my strength and conditioning in 'Training For Warriors Cork' once and sometimes twice a week but also do a lot of pads and kettle bells at home with my Dad, but always get one or two rest days every week."

Not alone does schoolgirl Jodie have a strenuous timetable, she also has a strict diet to keep her in flying form.

"I have a strict diet but when I win I always celebrate with the best burger in town and my Dad always cooks me big tomahawk steaks too."

When it comes to people saying the sport isn't for girls, Jodie has one response for them: "I say to clowns who say Muay Thai is not for young girls that they can do any sport they want and they should do Muay Thai to protect themselves."

"Training always comes first but of course I still always play with my friends and also have loads of friends at the gym," she said.

"My friends in my school think that it is cool that I fight all over the world and bring gold medals and belts home to Ireland all the time."

Jodie could have a massive future in the sport, according to her biggest fan, her dad.

Jodie and her father Dan McCarthy
Jodie and her father Dan McCarthy

"Clearly she is something special, which I've always known," Dan said.

"She has really proved herself to the world."

Three other young athletes - sparring partners and good friends of Jodie - from Waterford Muay Thai also brought home medals.

15 year-old Jodie Fagan winning gold In Muay Thai and silver in K1, 11 year-old Kinga Pietraszak winning gold in Muay Thai and K1 and 11 year-old Zoey Croke winning bronze in Muay Thai and K1.

Jodie also had a special mention for her coach Kieran O'Brien and Samson Martial Arts in Cork, and her sponsors including Billy Daly from JD steel in Sydney, Jason Blessing from Blessing Transport, Leo McCabe from the Bodega bar and restaurant and Joseph Desmond from Orchard Cottage Dairy Farm.

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