Whanganui heavyweight judoka Keightley Watson has won gold in the Hong Kong Asian Cup over the weekend.
Watson won his gold medal in the plus 100kg junior men's division after a below par performance by his own standards the previous weekend in the Macau Asian Cup where he lost the bronze medal.
The week following, which included three days of training sessions, helped make a difference in his fortunes at the Hong Kong tournament and improve on his last year's bronze at the same tournament.
The gold medal has also propelled him up the IJF world ranking list by three places to 4th in the junior men's plus 100kg class. This will help with his seedings in future tournaments.
However, no rest or relaxation is on the cards as he flies out again next Wednesday to the Asia-Oceania Junior Championships 2019 in Taipei on July 29-30, then the following weekend Watson will compete in the Taipei Asian Open 2019, this time in the senior men's again representing New Zealand.
Late September Watson travels to Japan as part of the New Zealand senior squad of 12 and two coaches for a two-week training camp which is being hosted by Minoh City as part of the Japanese Government's Olympic promotion of various sports for next year's Olympics Games in Tokyo.
"It would be nice to have some of these tournaments closer to home and not have to travel sometimes up to 30 hours to the other side of the world days before competing, but unfortunately the tournaments that count are all in the Asian or European continents so travel has become essential in his progression in the sport regardless whether it is for training or competing." father Ross Watson said.