THE Connaught Telegraph’s Young Sports Stars of the Year 2015 award winners (in association with Baxter, Castlebar).
Number 10: Davitt Neary (Martial Arts).
IF national titles are hard come by, then European titles are a rarity for any amateur athlete.
But Castlebar's Davitt Neary brought kickboxing in Mayo to a new level last August in San Sebastian, Spain, when he fulfilled his dream of European glory.
Davitt, who has been training in kickboxing with Damien Gormley at White Tiger Martial Arts for the past five years, went into the event on the back of a world bronze medal in 2014 and took the gold in style.
Before contesting the European championships, Davitt first had to overcome the Irish selection process, facing off against kickboxers from the 32 counties.
Competing in San Sebastian in the 32kg Cadet 1 (10 to 12 years) category, by far his toughest match came in the quarterfinals when he was drawn against the favourite from Hungary.
After that it was a clear run to the gold medal as no opponent could live with him after he had beaten the favourite.