On Saturday 9th February 2019, Cloghroe IKKU member Chris McCarthy made history at the EKF European Cadet Junior & U21 Championships in Aalborg, Denmark. He became the first Irish Karate athlete to take home a gold medal at an official World Karate Federation sanctioned event.

Chris battled through some tough pool fights in the Junior Kumite +76kg category. In round one, he overcame Germany's Stanislav Littich and the second round was not quite as tough in which Chris defeated Serbia's Arsovic Mihajlo by 3 – 0. Chris's superior speed and tactical awareness proved to be too much for his next two opponents, Jakub Matejka from the Czech Republic and in the pool final Estonia's Albert Baranov.

The pool victory setup Chris for a final showdown with Gligor Petkov from Macedonia. It was a clear case of saving the best for last, as Chris demolished his opponent by 8 scores to nil, giving a masterclass of pressure fighting. Chris finished the bout with a somewhat un-characteristic Jodan Geri, after which he gave a victorious salute to his twin brother and Junior Olympic medallist, Sean who was watching from the stands. Speaking after the event, Coach Stephen O'Callaghan remarked "The lads put in the hard work day in and day out in the club .We have a dedicated team that work very hard for each other. Chris stuck to his fight plan, and got his reward".