Plenty Of Tight Action At Oceania Champs

Sunday 15 July 2018, 8:26AM

By dave worsley


After day one of the Oceania Taekwon-Do Championships in Wellington there’s been plenty of close competition for gold medals, particularly in the sparring categories.

In the senior  female middleweight sparring final it was two competitors who have had various world titles to their names as Melissa Bray (nee Timperley) (Counties Manukau) overcame Phillipa Henry (Auckland North) for the gold medal. Bray also won a patterns gold in the senior 4th-6th Dan as well to continue her large career tally.

However in the hotly contested senior female black belt light heavy/heavyweight final the current world junior sparring champion, Bianca Koper, 17 from Auckland who won her world title in Ireland last year was defeated in an exciting contest by former junior champ: Rose Biddiscombe.

Biddiscombe, now 20 won her junior world title in 2015 in Italy to give New Zealand its first women’s sparring title at the time. In this final Biddiscombe representing Central Districts and from the town of Peka Peka .was all aggression in the final and won convincingly in the end over Koper with Courtney Weir from Auckland and Layne George (Counties Manukau) the bronze medals.

In the power category Wellington took away the female gold ahead of Auckland and Midlands, but in the men’s division it was the South Island winning and forcing the local team into second spot with Central the bronze.

Wellington are expected to gain gold from double world champion Wesley Filiki in the individual power on Sunday afternoon, although there will be competition from Palmerston North’s Alex Petrovich and a big group of entrants.

In the patterns divisions it was Petrovich from the Southern Cross Academy who won the senior 2nd Dan category with Australia’s Paul Wehbe the silver and Luke Jackson from Christichurch finishing third.

The senior 1st Dan patterns had a wide spread of medals as well as Tauranga’s Taine Williams who competed as a junior from Nelson won gold and Jamie Searle from Central Districts silver with Ben Linstone (Wellington) and Calum Woodill (Christchurch) the bronze medals.

Overall the top province after the first day has Counties Manuaku looking at taking its fourth title in a row and eight in 10 years. They lead with a total of 35 medals overall followed by Wellington with 24 and then Central Districts on 23.

The event continues Sunday at the ASB Sports Centre in Wellington with close to 400 competitors taking part.