Day 11, Last day of the Tournament


(Note, our apologies, this is rushed and not quite finished, but as we are leaving at 7am tomorrow and have to be on the bus in 5 mins, it’s probably it until we get to LA tomorrow afternoon our time)



Actually to be honest, it’s still day 10, and 11:30 pm. I am still on a buzz from today, after all the medals and the excitement. We have been celebrating in the bar with a few quiet ones, and I mean just a few, we still have a big day tomorrow. Dave, Dan, and Mark are shattered, they have had a huge day, always on the go, from one event to another without a break. I think I will call it quits soon too, been up since 5:30 (yes, I can hear all your violins playing…)


Now it’s Day 11.


Ok, another morning in Tegucigalpa, sunny, usual clouds on the hills, and another trip to the stadium. Our selection of music from the bus driver this morning started with Bonnie Tyler (is she still around?), and the Eagles singing Hotel California. You know, with the petrol prices at home at the moment, the locals here have the solution for forecourt drive-offs, they have a gunman stationed at each petrol station, armed with a rather large shotgun. I can just see him having no problem stopping drive-offs, what do you think?


Message from Kelly


Hello to everyone back home. This is the last day of the tournament and we have mixed feelings of both excitement and sadness that it will be over soon. Aden and Briana, we miss you very much and can’t wait to see you. This trip has been so amazing. See you all soon.


Love Kelly & Siobhan


And so, onto today’s competition


Second match of the day


Bex vrs Argentina


This is it, the final. The boys start Bex off with the Haka to get her going. The match starts slow, Bex first points with turning, then Argentina turning, then Bex 3 pointer, then Argentina scores with turning and punch, very even, lots of single techniques, both fighters cautious, Bex sidekick, Argentina falls but gets up quickly, round ends. They are even from what I can see. Round 2, slow start, but the NZ team support is huge, Bex scores with turning, Argentina with side, lots of bouncing, still single technique. I don’t think Bex has done enough to win, but neither has Argentina. Round ends. Judges cards are in, and the winner is…Draw! Both get back into it straight away, lots more bouncing, not much action, both so cautious now, Bex scores with turning, Argentina turning, a few more kicks here and there, no punching flurry’s, bout ends. Score cards are collected, I think Bex was ahead slightly, and the winner is…Draw again! The crowd goes wild, and the flags come out. All judges stand and I can see Mark screaming in Bex’s ear. The Argentinean coach is doing the same. They come out and start, bouncing…bouncing…bouncing…and more of the same for nearly 1 ½ minutes, not a technique thrown, both know one wrong move in sudden death and it’s all over. Bex is warned for turning away, then warned again but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was for, so excited I forgot to write notes! Then Bex scores!! With a side kick, Ref stops the match, the NZ team go wild…but no judge raises their flag…why I don’t know, it was a clean point and in any other match would have counted. Then horror, Bex is forced out of the ring, and incurs her 3rd warning, looses a point and the match is suddenly over. Bex is distraught, the team cheer her, but she is upset, as we all are I guess. But you know, she did win silver, and lost the match on warnings. Awesome Rebecca.


Men’s team power breaking


The team are lined up in front of the boards, and the heights are set. Kane is up first with the punch. He lines up and nails it! Then Josh with the knifehand, he also lines up and nails it too! Then it’s Sam on the sidekick, Chris on the turning, and Johs on the reverse turning. Sam lines up, and hits the boards too low, they don’t break. Chris bends the boards on the turning, but they also fail to break all the way. Then Johs lines up for the reverse, can he repeat yesterday’s break, he winds up and…the boards refuse to break. The team are hugely disappointed, but it’s not over yet, one more team to go, but it looks like the NZ team are out. We stop to watch another final, the female heavies which is between Poland and Argentina, with Argentina successful.


When we look back over, NZ is in a playoff with Canada! Not sure what they are going for, maybe 2nd or 3rd. The judges select the sidekick as the break-off. Canada is up first, their competitor lines up and nails the kick. So this is it, whatever they are playing for all comes down to Sam…no pressure! Sam lines up carefully, settles himself, the pressure must be immense, and leaps at the boards. They fail to move, the Canada crowd goes wild, and we are left wondering what it means for the team…what did they get? 3rd? We just don’t know, they seem to be commiserating each other, then Chris comes past the stand holding 2 fingers up. What? He is all smiles, NZ has won silver!! They were in the play-off for 1st and 2nd and we didn’t even know. Awesome guys, another silver.


Mark was telling me that the Argentineans had asked him last night how come the NZ team is so good at specialty and breaking.


Woman’s power breaking


Argentina are first, they miss everything. Then Honduras, they miss all three too. So far so good. Then the Canadians, they are good at breaking, but only get the knifehand, which the Canadian girl punches instead. Slovenia are next and the tension is starting to build for us supporters. Slovenia make the sidekick only…Yes! Looking better, is this what gold smells like?…Shushh, don’t jinx them!


Stop press…Bex has been taken to hospital, she has apparently injured her calf in the sparring, she will be gutted to miss the breaking and specialty.


Then it’s our turn. Candice is first for the knifehand. She nails it! Then Jess sets up the side kick, she pauses a while to steady herself, then launches at the boards, her foot appearing out the other side and almost out the breaker machine. Such a beautiful break…and the supporters go wild! This has to be gold for NZ, no other team has done better so far and only the Poles are left, and they are not great at breaking. And Alicia is still to come with the turning. She lines up, and nails it! Yes, a clean sweep, we must have the gold! The NZ support crew go wild as well. Now Poland step up, and the competitor lines up the knifehand, and breaks it. Can they match us? No, wait, the judge has disallowed the break! Maybe for forearm use, but who cares, NZ have Gold in the female team power breaking!


The Poles came into this tournament heavy favourites, but they have been stopped well by the Argentineans mainly, who have had an awesome tournament. Romania won the men’s heavyweight, beating the Poles


While I think about it, can someone please get in touch with Carl Matthews, and ask him to have the press at the airport for the team, we may as well make the most of our medal tally.


Team female specialty


Honduras are up first and miss all three, Canada get the front, miss the turning, and get the side. Romania are up next and they miss all three as well.


Then Jess and David are back on in ring 2 for their final go at the pre-arranged. Really there are only two teams in it, with the Canadians and us. All 5 teams, Honduras, USA, Argentina, Canada, and NZ line up. The judges confer for quite some time, who do they like more, The acrobatic Canadians or the technical New Zealanders. And the winners are…Canada. NZ takes another silver!


The specialty is still going, and NZ are up next. Amy is first, and lines up the front kick. She leaps but mixes up her footing and goes for a one leg kick and not scissor as required, realising her mistake halfway through the jump, she just sails under the board, not kicking. Good attempt Amy. Siobhan is next for turning, she too has to scissor. She lines up, leaps, and makes a perfect break! Awesome, and with scissor kicking. The NZ team go wild. Then Melissa, she lines up on the runway, Mike and Richard are holding the board. It all comes down to this, no pressure! Melissa runs, leaps…and makes a perfect break, putting NZ in the medals! Question is, which one?


Poland are last, they get the front and the turning, but miss the side as their competitor collects that tape on her way through, jumping too late.


That puts NZ in a jump-off with Poland for 1st ! The judges select the turning kick and it all comes down to Siobhan. Again, no pressure! She lines up, leaps, and just collects the bottom of the board, so no points. Then the Pole lines up. She leaps, and hits the board full around. But her foot is almost vertical, surely the judges will disallow it, they have been pretty consistent. No! They allow it, Poland win the gold and NZ have silver again.


By the way, the Hondurian injured is back at the tournament in a neck brace, but he seems ok.


Men’s specialty


Canada are first, they get the turning but nothing else. Their foot position is almost vertical though, they should have been disallowed, but that’s tournaments for you I guess. It was exactly the same kick as Siobhan’s, but this time they let it through, again all I can say is that’s tournaments for you. NZ are next, with Kane starting on the front. He lines up and misses, Shane is next, he gets the turning but his foot is also vertical, and they allow it, go figure, not that we are complaining! Sam, Chris, and David all miss their breaks, putting us in a precarious position with only one break made. USA are next, they miss them all. Then England, they get the turning, mid-air, and side. They also get the reverse, but it is disallowed for foot position! They are in the lead so far. Then Poland step up, they get the turning, Reverse turning, and the side. This puts them 1st equal with England. Honduras are next and make just the flying side kick. This puts England and Poland in a jump-off for first, and NZ, Honduras, and Canada in a 3 way jump-off for Bronze.


England are first for reverse turning and get it, so do Poland. Then the judges select the flying side, which England get easily, Poland collect the tape on the way through, England are first.


Canada are first up for the Bronze jump-off, the judges select the turning. Yes! Canada miss, putting all the pressure on Shane. He has to scissor as well. He sets up, jumps…and Nails it! Yes, Honduras didn’t even come close in the last round, surely this is bronze to NZ. Honduras line up, leap, and miss! Another bronze to NZ!


Medal ceremony


Argentina are on the podium again, Master Bos calls for the national anthem. But no, tape deck guy strikes again. Master Bos says “I am going to cry”. He gets all the teams to clap. Then he tries to introduce Tomaz Barada to all the juniors, but tape deck guy is having none of it, he starts up with the Argentinean national anthem…but no, it’s that blasted piano concerto again, not sure which one! Then tape deck guy gets it right, and the Argentineans sing.


Alex collects Bex’s medal for her, as she is still at the hospital.


Then Jess collects hers. Silence, tape deck man has no anthem for Poland who are on the podium, so the Poles sing!


Candice collects her bronze and tape deck guy gets the anthem right for the Argentineans, who also collect the next 4 gold medals in a row, they have had a blinder of a tournament. Master Marano is now directing tape deck guy, who seems to be getting all the anthems right, maybe he’s new?


Suddenly Bex appears at the stadium, back from hospital, she is ok, just has to keep her calf iced, the NZ team clap her in.


Alicia collects her gold, at the same time Jess collects her bronze, both for power breaking. Tape deck guy gets the NZ anthem right, although it sounds like it has been through an old pipe organ, we all sing anyway.


Sam collects his bronze for power, and Johs his gold, they share the podium, and the NZ anthem is played twice in a row.


That’s all folks, this afternoon is the team sparring, which promises to be huge, and I know I will be busy. On the way back to the hotel for lunch, we are treated to some Motown, Barry White, and The Eagles round off the trip with New Kid in Town. Awesome, you have to hand it to the bus driver, although the stereo is probably worth more than the bus, but who cares, the whole team is jubilant, and sings along.



Day 11 – Afternoon



Ok, here it is, the final part of the competition. We are in the bus heading to the venue. This afternoon’s music for those that wanted to know, and those that didn’t, is Air Supply, ‘making love’ and ‘all out of love’, which some of the team sings to, aye Kelly! And to finish with as we enter the stadium grounds, Bony M, by the rivers of Babylon! On the way we stopped at the lights where this taxi must have had 7-8 people in it, and they were all in the back seat! It’s not wrong, just different.


Team sparring


In ring one, Poland beat Canada in the female first round, then the Canada men beat the English in ring 2. In ring 3, Poland males beat the USA. Back to ring 1, Honduras girls lost to Argentina, as did their male team in ring 2 at the same time. Then it was our turn.


In ring one NZ male vrs Argentina, and in ring 2 at the same time, NZ girls vrs Poland.


Men first. Ryan was in first. His opponent was very quick, and scored 3 points straight away, and then again. Ryan got back into the match with a punch, but was behind a long way and the Argentinean just kept coming, result was a win for Argentina. Then Kane stepped in to the ring, lots of bouncing to start with, scores with a back kick, more bouncing for a while, both more cautious, Kane warned, then warned again for turning back, Argentina is strong, Argentina goes down, Kane scores with punch, then 3 pointer. Match ends. Result…Argentina. Next was Chris, both started strong, Argentina warned, Chris scores with side, then 3 pointer, then Argentina scores with turning, punches, Chris is strong but so is Argentina, Argentina goes down, then Chris goes down, both score with turning kicks, match ends. Judges sheets are in, and the winner is…Argentina, NZ is out of the Men’s team sparring.


Woman’s, Alisa is up first, and it’s a slug fest, the Pole is huge, Alicia should have brought her axe, but she doesn’t back away, Pole scores 3 pointer, then again, lots of techniques from both but Alisa is in a hard match. Bout ends, win to Poland. Candice is in next, Candice warned for holding, both going for it, lots of punches and kicks, Candice is faster, Pole is bigger and she can’t get close, Candice turning, then she is warned, Pole turning, Candice punches, excellent, knocks Pole down, Turning, Pole turning, punches, kicks, Candice losing ground, Match ends. And the winner is…Poland. Jess is in next, with the second biggest Pole ever! Jess faster, but the Pole uses her legs a lot, no points yet, then they start trading blows, Jess scores with side, then goes down, lots of techniques, but not much to score, Jess down again, Pole scores with punch, then turning, match ends. I think this is it for NZ, the scores are in, and the winner is…Poland. Bummer, NZ is beaten by better sides on the day. They gave it their all, a great effort.


So in the final for team sparring, it is Poland vrs Argentina, for both Male and Female. The Argentine male team beat the Poles, but in my opinion it was the wrong decision, however I was only in one corner. With the women’s events, Argentina won also, in a long match going 7 rounds. Again I felt it wasn’t the right decision, but that’s tournaments for you. The Poles are gracious losers though, good on them.


At the end of the woman’s team sparring, Master Bos calls on the NZ team for the Haka, and they hurriedly assemble before the official result is announced for the woman’s team sparring, he loves it.


The medal ceremony.


I will leave the pictures to show this…




The best female went to two Poles, while the best male belonged to Romania. Argentina collected best male team, and of course, best country.


But the overall best female team was…New Zealand! Dave Ballard accepts the trophy on behalf of the team, and they all join him on the podium. Then it is over…but wait, there’s more, lots more!


The teams separate and leave ring 2 open, they are asked to sit by Master Bos. Then on come this troupe of school kids dressed in what I think is a national costume. The boys are in white with large hats, while the girls are in long flowing very bright dresses. They dance for ages, and the teams love it, especially Honduras and Argentina.


Then Master Bonilla gives a speech, followed by Master Tran. Then there is very loud music and Master Bos and Master Marano encourage the kids to get up and dance in one huge party. The Argentineans need no such encouragement and the Hondurians form the worlds longest conga line, with the NZ team, and dance around the other teams. Then ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ is played, followed by Queen’s ‘We are the champions’.


Then some Spanish dance music comes on very loud and the teams are still celebrating. Half of them have swapped their gear with the other teams, especially Argentina, and Mike is trying to get them to leave the floor, but he gives up and lets them go, they need to let off steam, and they do.


Finally we leave and get on the bus. The last days music is…Bryan Adams ‘Please forgive me”. But halfway through that, Johs, encouraged by the back half of the bus, especially Mark, rushes forward to where Mike is standing up in the isle, and down-trous him, much to the teams delight. He takes it well, and states ‘I probably had that coming’. Then the team just can’t keep quiet, and sing all the chants they know.


Tomaz Barada ( for those that don’t know, he is world champ many times, and has worked with NZ teams in the past), who has travelled with us each morning and the Slovenian team, asks the kiwi’s to sing a local song, which they do. Ok, I am going to get this spelling ‘way’ wrong, and Bill Gates will be no help at all! They sing Tu tirami gna iwi. He loves it. The team then start chanting ‘sing, sing, sing’ trying to force him to sing something for them. He stands up and the bus goes quiet. It’s one of those moments when you know that something amazing is going to happen.  He says as close as I can remember the following.


“I cannot sing, I would drive you all off the bus, but I would like to say this. I have been following New Zealand for a few years now, and you always improve each time. You did very well this year and can be very proud. I would love to see the day when you are the best team at the world champs.


Then honestly, he got a little teary eyed, or perhaps it was the light at the end of the day! Whatever, the team started chanting ‘Slovenia’ over and over, the kids were very moved.


Back at the hotel, they gathered with the Slovenians, and had a picture taken.


Right, I have to go and get on the bus for the after function. Tomorrow we are leaving at 7:am so I don’t know when I am going to get this finished properly, with Doug’s photo’s.


We will get a full list of all medals won probably tomorrow morning, but we want to get them correct, so you will just have to wait a little longer. But from the looks of things, we think it is about 15-16 medals in all. Will confer with Mike when I can find him and go through the totals.