Big Judo club fighters’ haul of medals

Franklin County News - - SPORT - RUWADE BRYANT

‘‘I’ve been re­ally busy with work and I kind of went into the com­pe­ti­tion a bit un­pre­pared.’’

Two judo fighters from Puni’s Big Judo club have bat­tled their way out of this year’s na­tional com­pe­ti­tion with a swag of medals.

Kyle Leg­gott, 31, and Rosie Will­son, 10, both had suc­cess­ful fin­ishes at the 2017 New Zealand Judo Cham­pi­onship, which was held in Welling­ton on the week­end of Oc­to­ber 29.

Leg­gott, who is a blue belt, claimed four medals and qual­i­fied for the 2018 Judo Ocea­nia.

He came away with gold in the se­nior men su­per heavy­weight, gold in the masters open, silver in the masters su­per heavy­weight and bronze in the se­nior men open. ‘‘I was ner­vous. ‘‘I’ve been re­ally busy with work and I kind of went into the com­pe­ti­tion a bit un­pre­pared,’’ said Leg­gott.

‘‘I like hav­ing goals, set­ting them and go­ing for them.’’

The self-em­ployed pain­ter said he can only train at the club once or twice a week and ‘‘wished’’ he had pre­pared for the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘I am gut­ted I didn’t get the two other goals,’’ said Leg­gott.

On the op­po­site end of the scale, Rosie, who is the club’s first ju­nior girl to be sent to na­tion­als, took out bronze in the un­der 32kg cat­e­gory.

Al­though she was happy to have fin­ished on the podium, she was also dis­ap­pointed with her fin­ish.

‘‘It felt re­ally good, but I was quite gut­ted though,’’ said Rosie.

‘‘I won my first two fights, but on my last fight I in­jured my­self.’’

The in­jury re­sulted in the top three girls hav­ing to re-fight due to the points sys­tem, which saw them rest­ing on a points draw af­ter Rosie’s in­jury.

Un­for­tu­nately be­cause of the in­jury, Rosie was un­able to fight while her op­po­nent, which she ‘‘an­ni­hi­lated’’ in 30 sec­onds, claimed gold.

She is a yel­low belt and has been fight­ing for two and half years.

She said she en­joys the phys­i­cal side of Judo and plans to re­turn to the New Zealand Judo Cham­pi­onship in an ef­fort to be­come a ‘‘na­tional cham­pion’’.

Kyle Leg­gott and Rosie Will­son were suc­cess­ful at this year’s New Zealand Judo Cham­pi­onship.

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