An Arrowtown karate kid has won two golds for under-10s at the country’s biggest tournament.
Anna Leat, 8, won the individual kumite – the fighting section – for under-10s at the Sugihara Cup at the North Shore Events Centre.
She was among a team of 18 competitors from Queenstown, Arrowtown, Wanaka, Cromwell and Alexandra competing as the Shukokai Karate Club.
The club put up a strong showing at the tournament, which attracted 300 competitors, including 70 from overseas.
Anna teamed up with fellow Arrowtowner Imogen McGregor and Wanaka’s Holly Wiggs to win gold in the kata team event for under-10s, while Wiggs took bronze in the individual kata – a techniques display.
Arrowtown sisters Olivia and Maddison Jones joined Queenstown’s Tessa Goldsmith to win gold in the under-14 kata team section.
Proud mum and team manager Jackie Leat says it’s the first time the club has entered teams in the Sugihara Cup, held every two years.
Her daughter Anna was knackered after winning four fights to get into the final but had enough left to get the gold, Leat says. “[Anna] took some hits,” she says.
“It’s sports karate so you’re not supposed to have excessive impact, but at their age they’re not totally in control of their kicks so there’s the odd cut lip and things.”
Leat says the young boys’ team had a rougher time – up against a top Japanese group in the first round.
The club’s sights are now the Otago-Southland champs in Cromwell next month.