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Australian Open 2008

The 2008 Australian Open started on Friday April 11th in Coloundra with the Fijian team, NZ Development team, SKANZ and Jyoshinmon teams in attendance.

It was a very busy first day for the kiwis with Richard Rahardja first up for the NZ team in the kyu grade kata winning through 4 rounds beating Sean of Fiji in the semi finals avenging his loss to Sean at the NZ Open.  In the kumite he went through all the rounds comfortably to win gold in the kyu grade division. In the 10/11 open kata was Richard’s third gold for the tournament defeating Sean of Fiji in the final. In the 10/11 open kumite Richard learnt a few lessons on tactics going out in 2-1 in a hantei decision in the first round. Unfortunately his opponent lost the next round so no repo charge.

Reid Edmond of Christchurch was 3rd equal in the open kata with more determination to work on the basics for more improvement. He had a difficult fight against the crying boy showing good control and tactics to take the win. Fighting well in the final but not quite good enough for gold, more target work on his jodan mawashi would have helped in what was a very close bout.

Carl Monk started well with two wins but a slight stumble performing seipai  in the semi finals didn’t help him against a very good opponent in Vele who performed Aanan, losing 2-1 so his 4th kata got him a 3rd place through repo charge with Vele winning the division.  Vincent was the other kiwi in the division starting well with a win but as he was on the same side of the draw he also came unstuck against Vele of Fiji. In the 12 yr kyu kumite Carl was able to dominate through the rounds one being 8 - 0. The final against Vele was a tough fought 3-1 win for the gold. Unfortunately tweaking his arciles tendon he was unable to walk forcing his withdrawal from the open events.

Jasmin Elson won her weight division (under 48kg junior female) in extra time. In the open Jasmin fought well although she lost to eventual winner Jasmin Holland in the semifinals she bounced back well winning a place on the podium for bronze giving the NZ girls a 1,2,3 finish!

Charlotte Munro had 2 events on the first day, kyu grade kata and kumite taking gold in both.  In the open grade, heavy weight kumite she had a tough bout with the eventual winner leaving her to fight off for 3rd. Finding her timing she took the bout 4-1. In the Open Grade and weight division she was joined with Jasmine Holland and Jasmine Elson. Charlotte fought well evening the score from the earlier open by winning 4-0 unfortunately she took a heavy hit to the head which left her unable to contest the final against Jasmine Holland giving the kiwis a 1, 2 finish with Jasmine Elson a third equal along with her gold in the 16-17yrs lightweight with some clever tactics.

Jasmine Holland had a great tournament,  In the Junior female Open she drew one of her old foes from previous International tournaments but beat the Australian convincingly 8-0. In the following rounds Jasmine went through clean and had no points scored against her,  unfortunately there was no final to fight as Charlotte Munro had been injured , leaving an uncontested gold medal for Jasmine. Although with her competitive nature she wouldn’t be happy with the 3rd placing in her weight division. Meeting Seira (the Australian champion and fellow World junior champs athlete) in the first round in what most would consider the final was unfortunate and with some technical difficulties made it the most exciting bout of the division.  At 4-1 Jasmine was in control when Seira equalized with a step through spinning ura mawashi. Another point each had the match poised at 5 all, a point was given and the bout awarded to Seira. On a technical matter the point should not have been given and the match was started again. 30 seconds to go 5-5, in overtime Seira got the winning point to take the match and continue to the final where she won convincingly.  We look foward to these two fighting in Oceania.

Chris Rahardja competed in the Junior kata 16/17yrs winning all five rounds to take the gold. He also won the junior kumite the next day. In the senior kata division the two NZ competitors had a tough road both being on the same side of the draw with the winner of the under 21 kata from the day before, James from Fiji and the Aussie open 2nd place getter for the last few years .

All succumbed to the Australian, Chris 1-2 in the mat final. Through the repo charge Aidan and Chris met for the 3rd place bout Chris winning 3-0

Vincent has made some good improvement in his kata but with some tough competition wasn’t able to medal.   The Fijian boy that beat Vincent in the 2nd round , went on to win not only  the kyu grade but  also the open grade.Vincent then in kumite won his 13yr kyu grade division beating two boys twice his size in a gutsy effort.

Aidan Carr competed in the intermediate kata performing perhaps the best seienchin he has ever done, unfortunately losing  in the 1st round 2-1 to the eventual winner in what would have been a fitting final. Winning the next 3 rounds of repo charge he was able to secure the bronze. In Senior Mens kata Aidan went out in 1st round of a 36 strong field to the eventual finalist . After 3 rounds of repocharge Aidan met Chris for bronze going down 2-1.  In Aidans weight division for mens kumite and in the intermediate kumite he went out in the first rounds.  In the mens open kumite of 40 competitors Aidan went out in the 2nd round to the eventual winner with a penalty point. He then in 3 rounds of repocharge came to life and won the 1st and 2nd rounds very easily meeting Assen for bronze. With a 4-1 lead with less than 30 seconds to go Assen pulled off an amazing uramawashigeri to even it up. In extra time a very difficult decision of who scored first went to Assen with Aidan missing out on the bronze. In senior mens team kumite Aidan continued his form with a win in the 1st fight against a fighter from victoria. In the final Aidan fought a very experienced fighter from queensland only to draw in the last seconds after having an early lead. The team went on to win the gold.

Thomas Mackie in cadet kata with 17 competitors went through to the semi finals missing out on the final but won his repo charge to secure the bronze. In his kumite division Thomas fought well making the finals. A tough call meant a loss to Shaun Donnett and 2nd place. Thomas on the 3rd day was able to compete in the 12 to 15yrs team kumite and the team after 3 rounds secured the silver medal

Shane Tregidga was in Chris’ division junior kata and lost in the 1st round to the semi finalist that Chris beat, subsequently missing out on the repo charge. In the senior mens kata he met a very strong competitor in the first round and that competitor  went out in the semis to the eventual winner and again no repocharge. So with a tough start to Shanes’ tournament  he was very determined in the junior open kumite.  The division had 17 competitors with Shane meeting the Australian  Champ Michael Economou in the 1st round. Consequently shane beat him, won his next round, lost on the bell in the semis and won his repocharge to secure the bronze in some  very hard fought matches.


Auckland Jyoshinmon club from Mangere also competed at the tournament with some excellent results. Malia Tagatanu’u won the female 11 yrs kyu grade division. She fought well under pressure to come from behind to win gold.

Venezia henry also came from behind  to win gold clinching the winning points  close to the end of the bout.

The SKANZ dojo from Auckland also had some great results. New Zealand National team members Leonard Kong , Aleks Sotirovski and Andrea Annacan performing well.

Andrea won gold in the Junior Open kata and improving her bronze medal performance of last year to take silver in the Womens Open kata successfully adding Chatanyara Kushanku to her kata repotoi

Aleks won gold in the 75-80kg kumite with Leonard taking bronze in the 60-65kg kumite.

Two junior members had a great tournament with Sonia Yu a double gold medalist. First in the 10-11yrs kata and then in the 10yrs kumite and Sonia Metha 2nd in the same events.

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