As the competition date nears things are heating up for the National Championships.
Not only will the results be used to select the Australian team for the 2012 Sumo World Championships in Hong Kong in October, but there are only 2 more chances to grab a spot on the Oceania team for the two major international competitions next year:
2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia http://worldgames2013.com.co/
2nd Combat Games in St Petersburg, Russia http://www.worldcombatgames.com/en/
For this reason New Zealand is bringing over 3 male athletes to compete in this event, hoping to qualify for Oceania team selection. Among them, heavyweight, James Mihaere, who won the 2010 Oceania heavy and open divisions, will be a danger to our Australian athletes. At 1.98 cm he tops both Australia’s current heavyweight champions, American football player, Rob McKinnon, and Australia’s Strongest Man, Derek Boyer, in height and James’ recent career in pro-wrestling has made him an even tougher opponent.
Rob McKinnon, who was 200kg at last year’s National championships in Melbourne has lost weight, but powerful former middleweight, Joe Saunders, had gone up a class to join the heavyweights. Joe placed second to Derek in the heavyweight and second to Rob in the open at the recent Queensland State titles, but is determined to get a gold in this competition.
Queensland lightweight, Guy Belgrove, who hones his skills in MMA, would like to follow up his 2010 Oceania and Queensland wins with a resounding success this time. His closest rival, 2012 Oceania Lightweight champ, Pat Promrangka, from Brisbane, is also an MMA fighter when not doing sumo, so their match should be an interesting style of sumo to watch.
Junior, Indiana Easthope, chose to compete in the senior division and took out the middleweight title at the Queensland Championship, but if he choses to do so again this time he will have to face experienced opponents like Nick Brown from New Zealand and NSW champion Tevita Fahina, who won both middleweight and open at the 2011 Nationals and middleweight at the 2012 Oceania Sumo Championships in New Zealand in April.
Among the female competitors, newcomer Emily Knnuth from a jujitsu background, showed great strength and skill in her first sumo competition, the Queensland State Championships, but veteran Steph Wong, who has represented Australia and Oceania internationally, has experience and strong fighting spirit on her side.
Athletes are coming from ACT, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria to take part and we welcome new challengers on the day to our competitions, so there is always the possibility that an unknown may walk away with with a sumo title and a chance to start a new and exciting sporting career.
The competition is at Broadbeach PCYC 180 Monaco St Broadbeach Waters Gold Coast, starting at 10:00am ( 9am for athlete registration)
Admission $5 adults $2 children