On Thursday 26th May Tom & I flew over to Gold Coast (to take advantage of a cheap airfare!). We arrived at lunchtime and traveled up to Gold Coast from the airport to our accommodation.
We spent the afternoon finding a super market to buy some supplies for the coming days. That evening the other members of the Junior World team arrived in, as they had come over from Auckland.
In the morning we met up @ 9.00am, then went down to the beach for a training session - run by Master Camille Pruckmuller - there was then a break for an hour, then did some kicking drills in an underground car park! That afternoon we went over to Harbor Town to an Outlet Shopping center, which is huge, then from there we went direct to the Carrara Stadium to weigh in. All the team weighed in OK - although the general consensus was that the scales were out by 1.5 - 2 kg...
Tom has entered in both Junior and Open divisions for -68kg, with the open divisions being held on Saturday. His 1st fight was against a 32yo from Tans (Gold Coast Club). Tom fought well winning 16-1 in 2 rounds. This put him into the final against a 22yo from Melbourne, and this guy had beaten Max Kassman (PNG Olympian). A close fight that was 3-3 end of round 1 – scoring with a headshot each. Round 2 Tom scored another headshot to go up 6-3. Then another, but was not scored (and no protest) - however his opponent went down on one knee, and was slow to get up - and consequently was disqualified - and the fight was awarded to Tom. Both the fighter and his coach were rather upset by this, but that is the rules. It appeared that he may have sustained an injury from his previous fight.
Sunday was the junior division, and first up for Tom was a fighter from Thailand - that lives in Aussie, and is hoping to gain selection for the Australian Junior Worlds team. This fight went the distance - 3 rounds with the score-line of 9-1 - this guy looked OK, but didn't really seem to get going. Next up was Tom Anderson from Auckland - and again Tom did well winning in 2 rounds with a scoreline of 13-1 The final was against Billyjack Riddell from Gold Coast - fighter that Tom lost to in Auckland 2 years ago. Tom started well with an early headshot, and dominated the fight winning 16-4 in 2 rounds. Overall winning -68 Open & -68 Junior. Other NZ fighters also winning Gold were Andrea Kilday and Robbie Pruckmuller (Robbie winning -63 Open & -63 Junior)
The Gold Coast Open has been an annual event for several years and is a very well run tournament for both colored belts and black belts. This year there was approximately 500 athletes competing in Poomsae & Kyorugi, so is the largest tournament in Australasia open to all players. There were a number of clubs from across NZ that competed, so would be great if Christchurch Olympic could work towards sending a team over.