Taekwondo: Discipline helps bring team medal joy

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Aotearoa Taekwondo's team, back row: Faith Waterman (left), Jim Thomas (assistant coach), Tristan Hanlen. Middle row: Orion Thomas, Lakshya Dhillion, Blake Ward. Front: Mahinarangi Wirihana.
Aotearoa Taekwondo's team, back row: Faith Waterman (left), Jim Thomas (assistant coach), Tristan Hanlen. Middle row: Orion Thomas, Lakshya Dhillion, Blake Ward. Front: Mahinarangi Wirihana.

Aotearoa Taekwondo entered a team of six in the NZUTA National Taekwondo Championships held at the Vodafone Vector Arena in Auckland.

They gained valuable experience, winning five gold medals, a silver and a bronze.

With discipline and hard work the team performed to a high standard. Over the years taekwondo has evolved into a technical sport, where focus makes the difference between winning and losing.

At times competition got hard, scoring machines and computers broke down, and as the day went on it was obvious Aotearoa Taekwondo were well drilled and conditioned to whatever came their way, ultimately keeping their eyes on the prize.

Highlights of the tournament were Orion Thomas and Lakshya Dhillion. They showed the benefits of time and patience - and a little bit of work at home - once out on the floor.

Before every tournament for the past 37 years, these words are spoken: "When you're on a winning streak win well, and when you're on a losing streak lose well." Words for the competitors and those who support the team as well.

Aotearoa would like to thank Phillip and Paula Robinson of Fairhaven School for their ongoing support.

Results: Gold: Blake Ward 2, Mahinarangi Wirihana, Orion Thomas, Tristan Hanlen; Silver: Faith Waterman; Bronze: Mahinarangi Wirihana.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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