Home favourites dent Harrogate pair’s Quest Taekwondo bid

Harrogate’s rising Quest Taekwondo hopefuls Tom Henley and Skye Donoghue returned from the Croatian Open brimming with experience, according to coach Rick Simpson.

Henley reached the junior -78kg Llight Heavyweight semi-finals before losing to home favourite Luka Horvat, who competed at the Junior European Championships earlier this year.

The 16-year-old returned to the UK with his first medal at A-Class level.

Donoghue also exited her event to a home competitor in the Cadet -59kg Light Heavy group. She pushed her opponent Marica Aljinovic for three full rounds in the quarter-final before falling to defeat.

Simpson said both fighters will have learnt from the tournament experience.

“Tom’s story is incredible - six months ago he was a totally different person and athlete,” said Simpson.

“Now he’s won his first medal at A-Class level, what an incredible achievement in such a short space of time. There’s more to come yet.

“Skye was the underdog by far - she’s a lower grade, age and not as tall as her opponent.

“We decided to use fitness and strength as our game plan - and she almost pulled it off.

“She has come from a different martial arts background but progressed so fast that I couldn’t leave her out of the team for this event.

“She’s proven herself as a contender.”

Henley and Donoghue also competed at the Serbian Open two weeks ago but they went out in the last 16 and the quarter-finals respectively.

They will fight at the Yorkshire Open this weekend in Bradford.

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