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Karate tag team training for world champs fighters

Sep 8th, 2011 | By | Category: Latest News, News, Sport

TAG team karate has come to Wellington thanks to two local fighters making the South Pacific team for the karate world champs in Japan.

James Eades and Rob Struthers, are from the Wellington Poneke Dojo, based in Mount Cook.

They join Maia Peters and Conrad Tuhega are from Hamilton and Auckland in the team, along with Struthers’ 17-year-old brother Josh, who is the only colt selected from New Zealand.

To help them prepare for Japan, the local dojo organised a tag team event on Saturday night, which the MC described as “a freak event, normally only seen on the likes of WWF.”

The event held at Te Whaea in Mt Cook and was the first of its kind organised by the Poneke dojo.

Peters says he was was daunted by it at first but enjoyed the faster pace, despite the fact his visiting Waikato and Auckland tag team was beaten by the locals.

Eades is excited about his first world champs, because it will give him some new people to fight.

“I’ve fought nearly everyone in this room,” he says, after the tag team on Saturday.

“There will be 192 fighters at the world champs and I’m guaranteed to have not fought 180 of them before.”

Each fight at the world champs is a knock-out, if a competitor wins all his bouts they could fight eight times over three days.

Eades secured himself a place in the top eight of the team after winning three open karate championships and coming second in the Australian IKO open.

Rob Struthers is the New Zealand lightweight champion, and brother Josh is representing the South Pacific as a colt for the second time.

Eades is in the top eight of the South Pacific team, which means he gets his flights and accommodation paid for by the world body.

The other eight team members have to raise funds for themselves.

Peters has done everything from raffles to running the parking at the Hamilton Agricultural Field Days.

The 16-strong South Pacific team has seven New Zealanders, eight Australians and one fighter from Guam.

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is a Whitireia Journalism graduate working at Presstige Community Newspapers for the Northern Courier and Petone Herald.
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