New Zealand finished with nine medals in total from the Oceania Taekwondo Championships in Auckland which was down on its previous total of two years ago but they could still be happy with their performances against tougher competition than the past.
Without two Olympians and using the new electronic body protector scoring system for the first time in the country Kiwi athletes scored three golds, three silver and three bronze medals against a couple of fast-improving nations such as Tahiti and Tonga as well as Australia and six other Oceania countries.
The golds were won by rising star 18-year-old Hayley Schofield from the Hutt Valley in the women’s heavyweight, however it was no easy task.
Schofield overcame Australian, Jessica Ennis on a judges decision in the final after scores had been equal at 2-2 after normal time. There were no score in golden point time, but her superior attacking in the golden point round gained the judges decision and gold.
Her gold adds to the bronze she won recently at the Commonwealth Champs in Canada and is a repeat of the gold she won at the Oceania’s. Win an aim towards selection for next year’s world champs in Denmark.
In the men’s welterweight Auckland’s Vaughan Scott came away with gold after dominating his Australian opponent, Mahir Unalan with too much power. Unalan tried to hang in the bout by a headshot was too much as the recently turned senior competitor had more attacking skills and used them to good effect.
The third gold was in the men’s heavyweight where two Kiwis fought out the final. In previous competitions Daffyd Sanders had the advantage of Canterbury’s Nicholas Dorman. In this final it was the taller Dorman who recently picked up bronze at the Commonwealth Champs in Canada who came out the winner under the new scoring system which perhaps gives competitors with extra height an added advantage in the ability to kick to the head.
Both Australian heavyweights fell in early rounds to competitors from the Pacific Islands. Pitanikolas Taufat(Tonga) beat Brett Kendall while Levan Tiaoao of Tahiti had a win over Troy Burton.
In the men’s grades the Kiwi fighters and the Pacific Island nations generally had the edge over their Australian counterparts.
As a result of funding from France the first Tahitian to win a gold at the Oceania’s was Remuela Tinirau who managed a sustained attack on Wellington’s Malcolm Tester to take away the featherweight final.
Tinirau’s semifinal opponent Axel Raymond(New Caledonia) didn’t last the full length of their fight having to be carried from the floor with a suspected broken leg, however it was thought that was not the case after medics treated him afterwards.
Gaining silver in the women’s flyweight was Auckland’s Andrea Kilday who found herself down -1 against Australian Rachel Fassioms in the semifinals but managed to fight her way to even terms and then won with a gold point back kick. In the final she was beaten by Jasmine Branca(Australia).
Results (New Zealand unless named otherwise):
Men’s Flyweight (under 58kg)
Daniel Marinac(Australia) bt Desmond Allen, Cameron Sutton(Australia) bt Sol Bae.
Marinac bt Sutton.
Men’s Featherweight (58-68kg)
Remuela Tinirau(Tahiti) bt Axel Raymond(New Caledonia), Malcolm Tester bt Jeremy Attard(Australia).
Tinirau bt Tester.
Men’s welterweight (68-80kg)
Vaughan Scott bt Robert Hissey(Australia), Mahir Unalan(Australia) bt Vaiau Rey(Tahiti)
Scott bt Unalan
Men’s heavyweight (80kg +)
Daffydd Sanders bt Pitanikolas Taufat(Tonga), Nicolas Dorman bt Levan Tiaoao(Tahiti)
Dorman bt Sanders.
Jessica Jordan(Australia) bt Diana Kasad, Raihau Tauotaha(Tahiti) bt Bernadette Branca(Australia).
Jordan bt Tauotaha.
Jasmine Cross(Australia) bt Averii Gatien(Tahiti), Chloe Iriyadi(Australia) bt Michelle Caluag(Guam).
Cross bt Iriyadi.
Hayley Schofield bt Sunsanee McDonell(Australia), Jessica Ennis(Australia) bt Maima(Samoa).
Schofield bt Ennis
Andrea Kilday bt Rachel Fassioms(Australia), Jasmine Branca(Australia) bt Chaveta Sangue(Tahiti).
Branca bt Kilday.
1st Senior Male. Woon Peter Ham (NZ) 1, Sherman Kwan (Aus) 2, Namoa Sitapa (Tonga) 3.
1st Senior female. Melissa Ho (Australia) 1, Marlies Niewstraten (NZ) 2, Vivienne Fountain (NZ) 3.
Junior Male. 14-18. Woo Jin Lee (Australia) 1, Josua Liu (NZ) 2, Quinn Arciaga (Guam) 3.
Junior Female 14-18. Ara Cho (NZ) 1, Staci Knox (NZ) 2, Katelyn Brockwell (Australia) 3.
2nd Senior male. Alex Sootho (Australia) 1, Stuart Thomas (NZ) 2.
2nd Senior female. Nina Terrey (Australia) 1, Lisa Jallands (Tonga) 2.
Male. Alex Sootho, Sherman Kwan, Woo Jin Lee (Australia) 1, Woon Peter Ham, Seohee Alex Ahn, Hee Yoon Chee (NZ) 2, Ed Nathan Mecate, Ramon Tuason, Quinn Arciaga (Guam) 3.
Female. Marlies, Niewstraten, Samantha Knox, Staci Knox (NZ) 1, Katelyn Brockwell, Ivan Cvak, Andrea Matias (Aus) 2, Stephanie Caluag, Michelle Caluag, Dorothy Wood (NZ) 3.