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.