Huge haul at champs

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SOUTHLAND’S taekwondo fighters won big at the Taekwondo Union New Zealand (TUNZ) South Island championships in Blenheim two weeks ago.
Southland Sejong Taekwondo (SST) took 21 fighters to the competition, all of whom won medals — 11 gold, nine silver and four bronze.
SST president Brock Monaghan-Neutze said he and tournament team coach Amanda Smith were proud of their fighters, who all fought extremely well.
‘‘The last three months we increased our training to five times a week where we pushed our fighters to the limits physically and mentally, and to see that pay-off in the weekend is exactly why we do what we do.’’
All the fighters stepped up at the tournament, they said, but among the standouts were Ryshae Forbes who fought in junior and senior divisions and won both by a technical knockout (TKO) in the second round, Rueben Taylor who won his fight by TKO in the first round and Ben Oosterbroek who also won by TKO. All claimed gold.
Lucas Colvin, Eli McIver, Sam Oosterbroek and Billy Gutchlag also displayed a high quality of intense fighting in the finals where it came down to the last second in the last round, he said.
Aparima Taekwondo also enjoyed success, taking 11 fighters to the competition and coming home with nine gold medals and three silver, and four silver in Poomse or patterns — a predetermined set of moves against an imaginary enemy.
Head instructor Kayne Duggan said the results were better than expected.
‘‘It is the best result the club has ever had. I was really happy with it — very proud.’’
He attributed his fighters’ success to their determination not to give up.
Bryan Allan (15) was a prime example. He was down five points with five seconds to go to the final bell when he scored two head shots, the second of which occurred in the last second of the fight, to win one point ahead, Duggan said.
The national championships will be held in Christchurch on September 17 and 18.

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