Artis­tic sis­ters skate their way to medals

The Leader (Nelson) - - SPORTS TALK - WAR­REN GAM­BLE

A Nelson artis­tic skat­ing fam­ily is cel­e­brat­ing a haul of medals from the na­tional cham­pi­onships.

Sis­ters Hay­ley and Mit­suko Nam brought home gold and silver from the New Zealand Roller Sports Artis­tic Cham­pi­onships in Ro­torua last month.

Hay­ley, who just cel­e­brated her 21st birthday, struck gold for her per­for­mances in the se­nior ladies freeskat­ing and in­ter­me­di­ate ladies fig­ures and won a silver medal in the open solo dance. Younger sis­ter Mit­suko, 17, won silver in the ju­nior open dance.

Their mother Keiko Bamba fin­ished just out­side the medals with a fourth in the mas­ters fig­ures and fifth in the mas­ters solo dance.

Keiko said her daugh­ters’ suc­cess was a re­ward for their hard work. They train five days a week and also help her coach at the Nelson Skat­ing Rink at Tahu­nanui.

‘‘We are al­most liv­ing at the rink some­times,’’ she said.

At the na­tion­als Mit­suko was se­lected for the New Zealand jun- ior team that will head to Bris­bane next month for the Ocea­nia cham­pi­onships. She has made the na­tional team for the past five years.

Keiko will also be tak­ing part in the mas­ters cat­e­gory in Bris­bane for her na­tive Ja­pan. It will be the third time the mother and daugh­ter have com­peted to­gether at the Ocea­nia event.

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