Richmond fighter Mila Gallot lands a right kick during the Taekwondo Championships held in Nelson on Saturday. Photo: Chris Symes/Shuttersport.

Taekwondo fighters take on tournament

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Fighters from across Oceania descended on Nelson at the weekend for the 2019 Tasman Nelson Marlborough Taekwondo Championships.

Held at Saxton Stadium, the tournament featured fighters from six to 69-years-old across a variety of belt colours.

Fiji’s Raynav Chand made the trip a memorable one for his club, taking home the best colour belt crown while Isabel Leeburn from Christchurch won the poomsae division.

The visiting competitors continued to shine as Auckland’s Tiffany Ko won the black belt poomsae while Alex Ryder from Hawke’s Bay took home overall best belt and Kyorugi fighter.

Organiser Gavin Gallot says both patterns were fought at a very high level.

“Out of town and overseas teams were blown away with the quality of the tournament and the venue was just perfect.”

He says Richmond Taekwondo’s own club members performed impressively.

“We took a huge haul of medals in both patterns and sparring – from our youngest six-year-old to our oldest over-40 fighter.”

Gavin says the tournament was only made possible thanks to sponsorship from Bowater Toyota, Spark, Hills Cleaning and Saxton Lodge.

It served as the first taste of competition for a number of local fighters.

Gavin’s daughter Mila Gallot was fighting in her first tournament and had a memorable debut

She claimed bronze in the yellow belt patterns and won the Kyorugi yellow-green belt for girls under 132cm.

Next on the competition calendar is the BudoSouth Open in Tauranga from April 13.