Big Judo club fighters’ haul of medals
‘‘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.