BALLARAT kyokushin fighters have done Australia proud at the China Kyokushin Karate Full-Contact National titles, winning a host of medals against a world-class field.
Shannyn Ward, Mohammad Rezaie, Cameron Fordham and Thiilyaana Jones won their respective divisions, while Kyuss and Tzara Brooker performed admirably against some of China’s most dominant athletes.
All six fight at the Ballarat branch of the Australian Kyokushin Karate Association, but were competing as part of a 10-strong national squad fighting out of Nanjing.
The team was instructed by Ballarat’s own Steve Hardy, who is the national kyokushin karate coach and Ballarat’s chief instructor.
Former world champion Shannyn Ward used her pace and ring craft to win the open middleweight division, while heavyweight Mohammad Rezaie defeated the Chinese national champion in a brutal final.
Fordham, competing in his first international tournament, won the lightweight green belt category, and 13-year-old Jones blitzed her way through the field in the full-contact green belt division to add to a Chinese medal to her Australian and New Zealand titles.
It took a vastly more experienced opponent to stop Kyuss Brooker, who won his first two fights by technical knockout, while 17-year-old Tzara lost to the top Chinese lightweight fighter in the women’s open division.