James Doyle from Whitecross is World Handball Champion

October 13, 2009

James Doyle from Whitecross is a newly crowned World champion having captured the World Men’s Handball Singles One Wall B title.

The tri-annually World Handball Championships took place over a nine-day period and the cream of the world’s handball crop fought it out for success at Portland, Oregon, USA with James emulating the feat of his wife Máighréad Ní Riabhaigh-Dúill.The Irish handball history books were re-written three years ago when Máighréad captured Ireland’s first adult One Wall World title in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

This time round it was the turn of husband and fitness specialist James, to reach the highest accolade in the sport, elevation to World champion. Fittingly one of the oldest and most prestigious clubs in the United States and indeed the world, Oregon Hanball Club was the perfect venue for James, who recently captured the National Open title in Abbeylara, to add a World title to his many sporting achievements.

James participated in three singles events, two in one-wall and one in four-wall before facing his toughest task up against home player Ramior Rodriguez in the final. In the quarter final James defeated Mark Safronsky of New York before eliminating Californian Carlos Guerrero for a place in the final. In front of a large partician crowd, urged on by the Irish handball contingent which included wife Maighread and brother in law Paddy Reavey, James produced his finest hour to claim the World title with an emphatic display which would inspire his Irish team mates onto further glory, with Cavan’s Paul Brady creating history by becoming the first player in handball history to win three consecutive titles in the World Men’s Open. Not to be outdone Antrim’s Fiona Shannon defeated fellow Belfast handballer, Aisling Reilly in the Ladies Open Final to collect her third title in succession

The trail-blazing feats started three years ago by Maighread’s triumph and have been successfully continued on by her husband which is a tremendous family feat which deserves the highest recognition from all sports orientated people and the general public. It is very rare that the dedication and commitment given to a minority sport is rewarded with two world titles in the one household. Clann ÓDúill are back on the World stage courtesy of James with wife Máighréad and children Cailíosa and Fíachra set to continue the great feats of this families handball dynasty over the coming years.

Local councillor Pat Mc Ginn congratulating James on his historic win said, “I share the delight of many throughout, not only the sporting fraternity but the community in general on this great achievement by James. He and his family are highly respected throughout the area and they have promoted the game of Handball at every opportunity. It is a just reward for his commitment and passion to his sport. We should all be rightly proud of this great World Championship win.