The Senior New Zealand Karate team participated at the World Karate Championships held in Linz, Austria from 26th to 30th October 2016.
Four KNZ Referees also officiated at these championships - [from left] Dhammika Ariyaratna, Johnny Ling, Dave Harris and Grant Holland. Congratulations to Dhammika and Dave who both qualified as WKF Kumite Referees grade B. Also to Johnny Ling for receiving the Bronze Pin for his outstanding 10-year service as a WKF Referee.
Dennis May representing Karate New Zealand as President for the first time at a World Karate Championship. [Photo above courtesy of QP Sport - sponsor of KNZ]
Photo above of KNZ team with National Head Coach Duane Monk. Great effort by the team but unfortunately not the results they hoped for:
Andrea Anacan won her first round 5:0 against Slovenia but lost her second round against Croatia in a split decision, who then lost to France in the next round,
Brendon Running won 5:0 against Peru but missed out in the 2nd round against Venezuela, who lost in the next round against Serbia.
Shane Tregidga lost to Jamaal Otto of England, who then lost to Brazil in the next round.
Suzanne Yee had a close fight in the Female Kumite -61 Kg but lost 2-1 to Algeria, who in turn lost to Austria in round 2 so no repechage.
Sophie Savill had a tough fight in the Female Kumite 68+ Kg against Switzerland, who lost to Egypt in the 3rd round. This event was Sophie's last and retired from competition, after having been in the national team for over 10 years. KNZ wish her all the best!
Amy Thomason had a bye and tied with Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Female Kumite -68 Kg but lost to Hantei. Unfortunately her opponent lost in the quarter-finals so no repechage.
Rebecca Watkin lost in the Female Kumite -50 Kg to Macau in a close fight, though her opponent lost to Russia so no repechage.
Barney Gill almost had a repechage in the Male Kumite -67 Kg, as he lost to Turkey who made it to the semi-final but lost to Hungary.
The New Zealand Female Team Kumite won their 1st round against Israel but were beaten by USA in the 2nd round. Unfortunately USA lost to France in the quarter-finals though they are in the Bronze final match against Ecuador.
Awesome effort girls! All the Medal events were televised on Sky Sport Pop-Up Channel late on Sunday and into early Monday.
These championships provided tremendous experience for the New Zealand team and they very much appreciate the support that helped them participate in a world class event. It will be a long hard road to the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 but any endeavour by an athlete to represent their country is always worth undertaking ... and may New Zealand be behind KNZ on this journey.
The event draw records and results can be found on - Sportdata WKF
For more information on the Karate World Championships 2016, visit the Official Site.