Globetrotting Whanganui heavyweight judoka Keightley Watson has a busy schedule ahead as he seeks to earn valuable International Judo Federation (IJF) and qualify for the Junior Worlds in Marrakesh, Morocco in October.
First Watson will compete for New Zealand for the first time in the Paks Junior European Cup in Paks, Hungary on June 23.
A strong field has already been carded for the European Cup 2019 tournament, including four judokas ranked inside the top 20 Junior men's +100kg on the IJF Judo world ranking list.
European cup medals at any level are a rarity on this side of the world showing the standard at these competitions.
"While Keightley will go into this tournament as the second seeded heavyweight with a current world ranking of 8th in the Junior men's plus 100kg division, it's still too close to call and this could change as more entries are received, but he also knows that will count for nothing at this level," father Ross Watson said.
"On arriving back in New Zealand, he will have a quick turnaround to head to Macau, China on July 3 to compete in the 2019 Macau Junior Asian Cup on July 7 followed by the Hong Kong Junior Asian Cup on July 14 with the New Zealand cadets and Junior men's team."
The 18-year-old Whanganui High School student has another quick turnaround of only days heading overseas again, this time to China Taipei on July 23 to compete in the 2019 Asia-Oceania Junior Championships on July 29-30. He will stay on in Taipei to compete the following weekend in the Taipei Asian Open 2019 in the senior men's division.
"The tail end of this year is also looking to be a busy period of international travel with several overseas trips for training and further competitions, including, hopefully, the Perth Oceania Open which this year is on the IJF World tour as a Grand Slam," Ross Watson said.
"Keightley is hoping by the end of the Taipei leg of competitions he will have met the qualification for selection to the Junior Worlds being held in Marrakesh, Morocco in October."