Taupo’s ris­ing Muay Thai star


It was Rhya Henare’s first time com­pet­ing in a World Cham­pi­onship and she man­aged to achieve sec­ond in the world for her age group.

Ear­lier this month, Rhya (11) trav­elled with her trainer and owner of Rhythm of Com­bat (ROC) Justin McDermott, to Bangkok, Thai­land to com­pete in the 2017 In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion Muaythai Am­a­teur (IFMA) World Cham­pi­onships.

She not only got sec­ond in her age group but also was awarded the Fe­male Ris­ing Star Youth World Cham­pi­onship.

‘‘To leave with top two in the world and the ris­ing star, we were pretty happy with that,’’ McDermott said.

Rhya only took up Muay Thai last year but has done well in that year. Her first fight in Bangkok was against a Thai girl and McDermott said she did well to tie with her.

‘‘Con­sid­er­ing Muay Thai is their sport over there she did real well,’’ he said. ‘‘She’s a lit­tle beast.’’

Her sec­ond fight was against a girl from the United States. Rhya was meant to have four fights all up but due to two of the girls be­ing pulled out Rhya only had two.

Now she’s back in New Zealand, there’s no rest for her as she pre­pares for her next fight on Septem­ber 30 in Auck­land, – in prepa­ra­tion for next year’s world champs.

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