Medals continue Watson's rise
04 March 2019
Whanganui's Keightley Watson, left, with his silver medal in the Senior Men's 100kg+ at the Sydney Judo International, alongside gold medal winner Liam Park.
Photo / Supplied
Globe-trotting Whanganui heavyweight judoka Keightley Watson has made the podium again with two medals at the 2019 Sydney Judo International.
Following on his success in Canberra the previous weekend at the ACT Open, where he was jetlagged after just flying in from the Netherlands, Watson won the Junior Men's 100kg+ division.
In the Senior Men's 100kg+, this time Watson had to settle for silver, losing to the Australian and Oceania No1 ranked heavyweight Liam Park, who he had beaten in the semifinals the previous week.
Younger brother Callaghan Watson also competing in Sydney over the February 23-24 weekend and took bronze medal in the Senior Boys 66kg+ weight division.
This time there were five competitors in the Junior 100kg+ competition, which is for Under 21's, including a member of the New Caledonia national squad, who had not been in Canberra.
Watson proved too strong for Benjamin Allatt, David Put, and Sung Min Lee to win the gold.
In the 10-fighter Senior division, Watson defeated Paula Monta in the first round, and then won rematches against Allatt and Min Lee.
He then matched up against with Park in the final, but this time the roles were reversed and he was narrowly beaten.
Father Ross Watson said both Canberra and Sydney had been a good gauge as to his son's ongoing improvement in last 12 months from training in the Netherlands.
There are still things he needs to work on, "but by far, he has more solutions on the mat now than before when competing because of it," said Ross Watson.
Keightley Watson will have no down time since arriving back home, as preparations begin for the Asia-Pacific Championships, being held April 20-22 in the United Emirates at Fujairah, where he will represent New Zealand in the 100kg+ Senior Men's team.
By Staff Reporter
Whanganui Chronicle 4/3/19