Watson wins six medals before Asian mission

05 June 2018

Whanganui judo exponent Keightley Watson (left) had a solid warmup towards his tour to Hong Kong next month with a six medal haul at the Waikato Bays Open in Rotorua at the weekend.

The globe-trotting 16-year-old met local level competition at the Rotorua Event Centre, winning five golds and a bronze.

Entering multiple divisions, he won the Cadet Open, Cadet +81kg, Junior Men's Open, Junior Men +100kg and Senior Men's +100kg, while coming third in the Senior Men's Open.

From the Wanganui Judo Club, Watson's brother Callaghan (right in above photo) took bronze in the Senior Boys +66kg, while Marshall Littlefair also got bronze in the Senior Boys Under 32kg.

Keightley Watson, who has been training in the Netherlands and had to take a break from competition in April due to a fracture in his left leg, will compete in two weight divisions in Hong Kong.

There was also success for the Wanganui City College Judo Club in Rotorua.

Former WHS student Finn Brown won the Senior Men's Under 73kg title, while Kaleb Glen got bronze in the Cadets Under 81kg division.

In divisions with depth of about six fighters, Glen beat the defending champion while Brown overcame the current No1 ranked national fighter in his grade.

Meanwhile, Whanganui judo referee Diane Limbrey is also globe-trotting as she is currently in Austria where she represented New Zealand refereeing in the Junior European Cup in Leibnitz

Limbrey said it is a very strong competition with 580 competitors from 39 countries taking part over two days.

Her next assignment is in Serbia at the Senior European Cup in Belgrade.

By Jared Smith
Wanganui Chronicle 5/6/18