A top sportsman has died at an international judo tournament in Europe a day after competing for a place in the New Zealand Commonwealth Games team.

Aucklander Alister Leat, 28, took his own life hours after watching his brother and another teammate compete at the European Open in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The suicide has rocked the close-knit judo community.

Judo NZ president David Browne wrote online that the judo family had lost "one of our international fighters, son, brother, friend and good opponent on the mat".


Leat's local Judokai North Shore club wrote he was held in the highest regard as a role model.

Leat represented New Zealand at the world champs in Brazil last year and was ranked in the top 30 judokas in the world.

His brother Adrian, who returned home last Monday from Europe, expressed gratitude on his Facebook page to everyone who attended the funeral service on Wednesday.

Where to get help
Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (24 hours)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (24 hours)
Youthline: 0800 376 633, youthline.co.nz
Kidsline (for children aged 9 to 13): 0800 543 754 (4-6pm weekdays), kidsline.org.nz
Whats Up: Counselling for young people aged 5-18, 0800 942 8787 (noon to midnight), whatsup.co.nz
The Word: For questions about sex, life and relationships, theword.org.nz
Depression Helpline: Counsellors who can find the right support for you, 0800 111 757 (8am to midnight), depression.org.nz
Rainbow Youth: Support for young gay people and their families, rainbowyouth.org.nz