Success at world champs
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.