Gold for Garda Denis at world championships
Wexford can lay claim to a new world champion after one of the town's local gardai, Denis Costello, brought home a gold medal from the Kettlebell World Championships in Latvia.
Garda Costello (32) is originally from Laois but has been stationed in Wexford for the past ten years.
Married to a woman from Galbally, he has one son, with a second baby on the way.
Garda Costello took up kettlebells about two years ago with Mick Kelly in Total Fitness Systems Gym in Westpoint. He made a rapid progression through the various weights and is currently lifting two 24 kilo kettlebells.
'I won my weight category at the Irish National Championships in Kilkenny and that qualified me for the World Championships in Daugavpils, Latvia. There were nine or ten in my category from all over the world.'
Garda Costello was one of two athletes, along with Paul Kelly, who represented Wexford Kettlebell Club as part of Team Ireland. He competed on Friday, October 12 and had a day or two afterwards to let the win sink in.
He said: 'The gold medal was the culmination of a lot of hard work over the past two years. For the past year, I haven't missed a training session. I set my mind to this about a year ago.'
Garda Costello had actually qualified for the same competition in 2017 but felt that the time was not right to compete at that level, opting instead to go to a week-long training camp in Russia.
'I didn't think it was my time. I felt that, rather than go over to take part, I wanted to go to compete.'
He said his next aim is to qualify for the European and World Championships again next year, and to increase the weight that he is lifting.
'Ultimately, the goal would be to lift professionally, which is two 32 kilo kettlebells so I'll be trying to build up to that.'
He paid tribute, in particular, to his coach, Mr Kelly, himself a former world champion, saying that he had been instrumental to his success.
'His mentoring, in terms of technique, nutrition and everything was invaluable.'
Garda Costello missed out on the Blue Light Ball, an event organised by the Garda Social Club, while he was in Latvia, but there was plenty of good will for the new world champion as his achievement was announced by organiser, Det Colm Dunne on the night.
'The amount of support and good will that's come from both my garda colleagues and the management has been incredible, it's been overwhelming actually.'