The Trans Tasman Tournament took place in Auckland on 20 February, featuring the best Australian and New Zealand boxers. Winners included host nation duo the Nyika Brothers, as preparations for next month’s Asia and Oceania Olympic qualifiers in China continue.
Australia’s leading female boxer and 2014 Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist, 19 year-old Caitlin Parker, dominated the middleweight competition, beating New Zealand’s Lani Daniels in the final.
“I was happy with my performance over in New Zealand, my fitness was up and I was feeling focused. My tactics were to be quick and move in and out so that I could hit and not be hit. As the rounds went on I felt better and finished the bout very strong, now I just need to keep stepping it up and be as ready as I can for the Asia and Oceania qualifying event. My dream to be at the 2016 Olympic Games and nothing is going to stop me,” said Australia’s Caitlin Parker after her gold.
Australia’s second gold medal in the women’s event came from Commonwealth Games quarter-finalist Kristy Harris, overcoming another New Zealand opponent in the final, Bridget Morton.
“I was satisfied with my performance, my coach had specific things he wanted me to work on in the ring, nothing complicated, and I was able to pull it off so we were both happy with my performance. It was my first fight of the year so it was good to get one in before China,” said Kristy Harris.
New Zealand’s top male boxer David Nyika won Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow but has since bulked up to the heavyweight class and put in a commanding performance against Australia’s Jason Whateley. Nyika’s elder brother Joshua also won gold, in the welterweight final against Istafano Kori.
“I was happy to get the win because that is our first mission in these international fights. I am looking forward to the qualifiers in China, and am very motivated to qualify by getting in the top three. We focus on quality training over quantity though. And the recovery is almost equally important,” said Joshua Nyika.
Australia’s top super heavyweight, Commonwealth Games silver medalist Joseph Goodall defeated his regional rival Patrick Mailata in the Tasman Tournament finale.
Winners in the Trans Tasman Tournament
Women’s 51 kg: Kristy Harris, Australia
Women’s 60 kg: Alexis Pritchard, New Zealand
Women’s 75 kg: Caitlin Parker, Australia
Men’s 60 kg: Chad Milnes, New Zealand
Men’s 64 kg: Will Moses, Australia
Men’s 69 kg: Joshua Nyika, New Zealand
Men’s 75 kg: Campbell Somerville, Australia
Men’s 91 kg: David Nyika, New Zealand
Men’s +91 kg: Joseph Goodall, Australia