CQ Muay Thai fighter stands tall on world stage
MUAY THAI: Tyson Ireland said it felt “awesome” to bring home a medal from his first international tournament.
The Muay Thai College fighter won bronze in the junior 14-15 years 67kg division at the IFMA Youth World Championships in the Turkish city of Antalya.
He won three of his four fights, which included a tight contest against a Russian opponent in the battle for the bronze.
Ireland said it was a fantastic experience to mix it with the world’s best in the combat sport he started six years ago.
He was part of a dynamic 10-member Australian team that won three gold and three bronze medals.
Ireland and his teammates spent a week before the championships getting to know each other, training together and doing some sightseeing.
It was then down to business for the championships, with Ireland having his first fight on the opening day.
“All of them were pretty close fights but I felt pretty good in the bronze medal fight,” he said.
“It felt really good to get a medal and it was amazing standing on the dais.
“It made all the hard work worthwhile.
“I think the key was just going out strong and believing in myself.”
Coach Chloe McLachlan was “over the moon” about Ireland’s performance.
“I was stressed, as you are going into such a big competition not knowing just what to expect from fighters from different countries,” she said.
“”Everyone fights differently, it’s never the same. They bring different styles and different strengths but Tyson just went out there and give it everything he could.
“Getting the win first-up was really good and I think it gave him some extra confidence and an idea of what he was up for.
”Before the bronze medal fight I said to him just ‘do what you do.’ and he walked away with the bronze.”
Ireland’s parents Sandra and Wayne were in Turkey to witness their son’s Australian debut, and they were ecstatic about his medal win.
“It made me very proud seeing him there at his first world championships,” Sandra said.
“I was nervous to the extreme that it made me sick in the belly.
“It was a really good feeling when he got that first win and it proved that he deserved to be there.”
Ireland has several more events lined up this year, including Yeppoon Fight Night 1 on November 2.
Next year, he is keen for another strong showing at the nationals in the hope of representing Australia again at the world championships in Malaysia.
McLachlan is also keen to take him to train in Thailand, the spiritual home of muay thai.