Suc­cess at world champs

The Bay Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - BAY­LEY MOOR

Mo­erewa teen Tasha Wi­hongi is cel­e­brat­ing a sil­ver medal plac­ing at the re­cent world youth cham­pi­onships for Thai box­ing.

Wi­hongi says the re­sult was ‘‘cool, but dis­ap­point­ing’’. The main fo­cus was to win the gold medal, she says. ’’I thought I’d won the fight, but ap­par­ently not. But it was sec­ond best in the world, so I was rapt, happy as. To even get a medal was pretty cool.’’

Com­pet­ing in the 16 to 17-yearold, 72-75kg, sec­tion, Wi­hongi had just one fight against a Thai fighter out of a planned three, af­ter her op­po­nents were too heavy to make the weight re­quire­ments.

The IFMA cham­pi­onships were held in Bangkok, Thailand from Au­gust 3-11. In the lead up to the event, which was Wi­hongi’s first time rep­re­sent­ing the NZ Black Gloves, the 17-year-old was train­ing twice a day, six days a week.

Tasha’s brother Matthew also com­peted in Thailand, but was elim­i­nated dur­ing the first round when his nose bleed wouldn’t stop.

Bay of Is­lands Lee Gar trainer Nik Jes­sop says it is the ‘‘ul­ti­mate pil­grim­age’’ to com­pete in the sport in its home coun­try of Thailand.

‘‘It’s awe­some for our kids... Tasha and her brother are great role mod­els for our youth in Tai Tok­erau.’’ Wi­hongi’s next fight is in Oc­to­ber.

Nik Jes­sop and Tasha Wi­hongi at the Bay of Is­lands Lee Gar gym near Opua.

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