The Irish Open, one of the most prestigious point fighting events in the world and a marquee event for the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO), has been canceled for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The promotion committee for the event released the following statement via their Facebook account on Thursday:
Following a meeting today with Sport Ireland and in light of ongoing Irish government restrictions, and in the absence of clarity of when these may change, we regret to inform you that the Irish Open Organising Committee are saddened to announce that we have to cancel the Irish Open 2022, as we would not be able to run the event under current Irish government legislation and restrictions. Citywest have confirmed refunds are available for bookings made. All registration fees that have been paid will be refunded over the next week.This unfortunately is out of our control. Rest assured, we will be back next year with the biggest event ever.
The cancellation of the event was inevitable given the Irish government's COVID-19 restrictions, but it deals a huge blow to the international sport karate scene. WAKO brings a major international presence to the sport, particularly for the European countries. Their competitor pool consistently boasts some of the best point fighters on the planet and their forms and weapons scene has been on a steady incline in recent years with some of their champions climbing the ranks of the Official Black Belt Magazine Sport Karate Ratings. Although it is disappointing news, rest assured that promoter Roy Baker and his team will do everything in their power to make the 2023 Irish Open a phenomenal event.
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