Whanganui teenage judo sensation Keightley Watson has made New Zealand history by winning six golds over three divisions, including the senior open weight men's title at the nationals in Christchurch over the weekend.
And Watson has also brought the New Zealand Senior Open Weight Champions Cup back to Whanganui for the first time in 22 years.
The heavyweight judoka claimed the national senior men's open weight title over the weekend in Christchurch along with five other gold to make New Zealand judo history.
Coincidentally, the only other Whanganui judoka to win the cup was Keightley's uncle, Wayne Watson, who won it eight times during his career.
After arriving back on Wednesday from Nassau in the Bahamas, where he competed at the Junior Worlds Judo Championships, Watson had a quick turn around to head to Christchurch on Friday for the New Zealand National Judo Championships.
His thoughts were firmly fixed on what he wanted to achieve and that was to finish the New Zealand judo year on a high. He had one chance to do this by fighting in the cadet, junior and senior divisions as this was his last year in cadets.
Competing over two days, the Saturday competition featured Watson fighting in the junior men (18-21) +100kg grade and then the junior men open, both of which he won gold. Then in the afternoon session he competed in the senior men (21 years plus) +100kg for the first time where again he won gold. He followed up by taking out the prestigious New Zealand Open Weight Champion title.
That gave the 17-year-old the first part of the target he had set on day one - four golds.
Following day one's competition fighting, Watson competed in a Batsugun competition where he gained his second dan black belt. He was the only one of the 11 entered to obtain the grading.
He was back on the mat for the Sunday's events where he completed his full house of titles and making New Zealand Judo history by winning gold in both the cadet men +81kg and the cadet open title being the only judoka to date to take all six titles in a New Zealand National Championships - his mission was complete.
This has topped off a busy year for the globetrotting judoka which has featured him fighting and training in several different continents throughout the year since Christmas 2017.
"That experience of the overseas training and the level of competition overseas has certainly paid dividends for him in the New Zealand National Championships," father Ross Watson said.
"This is the third year running that Keightley has won the cadets +81kg, cadets open, junior men +100kg and junior men open, so a massive feat to also now have the both the senior titles at just 17-years-old."
Now the focus shifts to the Perth Oceania Open and Oceania Junior Cup in Perth in two weeks' time where he will compete for New Zealand in the junior men and senior men divisions. He then heads back to The Netherlands in January for further training under his mentor and coach Grim Vjuisters.
While there he will compete in The Matsuru Dutch Open Espoir in junior men, then travel through to Belgium for the Belgium Open.