Ireland Olympic Karate hopeful Caradh O’Donovan revealed that she felt "relief and delight" upon hearing the news that she would be permitted to compete at the upcoming European Championships.
O’Donovan received a call from her coach on Tuesday morning to inform her that the World Karate Federation had intervened in an ongoing dispute between Karate Ireland ONAKAI, and ONAKAI where both Associations claim to be the valid National Governing Body (NGB) of the sport.
Athletes including O'Donovan who are affiliated with Karate Ireland ONAKAI had been told that they were prohibited from competing in WKF events unless they were under ONAKAI umbrella but the WKF confirmed on Tuesday that they were allowing them to compete.
"I wasn’t expecting it," O’Donovan told RTÉ sport.
"As much as I was hopeful, in my head it was over and done with. I was thinking maybe we would get to some other competitions down the line but I really didn’t think we would get to this one."
O’Donovan has been very vocal on social media about her plight and that of her fellow athletes. It has been a tough time for the Sligo native but she hasn’t let it affect her training.
"Some people have gone after me on a personal level and that has been very difficult to deal with as well as having to train for competitions that we don’t know we will be in when we get to the scales.
"There are constantly mental games going on all the time. Mentally it has got to me but I have to stick to my guns and know that I am doing the right thing.
"I’ve been very focused on training; I haven’t cut back bar a couple of days when I felt overwhelmed. Even though I didn’t know I was going to be going to the European Championships I feel as ready as if I did know I was going two months ago."
The WKF released a statement on the situation on Tuesday morning.
"The World Karate Federation would like to point out that these athletes have already previously participated in many WKF events including World Championships and Karate 1 events, also very recently," it read.
"As for the current issue concerning the registration of athletes in the upcoming European Championships, the WKF is aware of the internal governance dispute in Ireland and has, in fact, worked together with Irish bodies to secure the welfare of the athletes.
"Since a solution to the conflict seemed not likely to be found in a near future by the parties in their internal dispute, the WKF decided to take action and Irish athletes will be allowed to participate at the upcoming EKF Senior Championships with the direct coordination of all parties by the WKF.
"Hence, the WKF would like to state that these athletes will be able to compete and represent their country at the 2019 EKF European Championships with the same guarantees as the rest of the karatekas taking part at the event in Guadalajara (Spain)."