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13th ITF World Champs - Poland 2003

The Build-up  |  NZ Team

Read messages left for the Team

Thanks to the Editors - Neil & Matt Breen who worked through many nights keeping us updated!

Newpaper clipping - Dominion Post, Friday 11 July 2003

Build-up Pix _1_ _2_ _3_    Trip Pix: Pro-Pix     _1_  _2_   
Tournament Pix: _1_ _2_

There are also photos of the tournament on the Poland Website:

See a list of NZ World Champs Attendances here.

Email from Lena

I'm home and its great to see my family and friends again. Thanks for all the support from everyone back at home and for the Breen's in doing such a fine job with the website.

Well done to the Team Coaches and Management. I cant think of a better ending for my Swansong, it was a fantastic experience. To the Team Members who are out there in the World having their adventures, return safely. To my are the best.


Email from Andrew Niven in Germany

Hi all,

Well excuse me if I get the y and the z around the wrong way, the keyboards here are stupid and these two keys are reversed.

Anyway. GERMANY.... it has been a great adventure. Since the girls could not find anyone worthwhile photoing in Poland they were delighted when we got to Germany and discovered that the guys (in there words) are hot, or as Cam would say... h-o-t-t-o-g-o...

Anyway, Alix and Carolina have been photoing all the guys that walk past, and between you and me they have very little in the way of taste. In fact, if it has a skin head it seems to be in.

It hasn't been all bad, since Cam discovered that I have no fear of being caught photographing someone he has some great shots of woman. Pity he likes blondes and I don't.

We have been staying with Antje's friends and Family and they have been so wonderful. I think they think that we are skinny though as they keep trying to feed us the entire house. Cam hasn't complained yet, so this will probably continue.

The beer here is AMAZING! I love it. Almost good enough to stay for, which has been a little bit of a topic just rescently, job offers and all. But I guess I will have to come back home, Italy sounds like too much of a good tournament.

Thank you to all that have emailed me directly, to those asking if I will coach the team to Italy... wait and see, you will just have to watch the website.

Funny thing just happened. Cam went up to the watress and asked for a latte... which in German means Hard-on. He just laughed about it, and then I went and (almost) did the same thing. Note to travellers - its latta in german.

Have seen some fantastic architecture and would love to send photos, but it is really hard to use the laptop here. Will keep trying.

Tomorrow we drive to another town, then on Friday we are off to yet another German town to visit Antje's brother. Then it is off to Czech Rep.

Will be in touch.


19.06.03: from Paul McPhail:
I want to publicly congratulate the team. I was very proud as you can imagine. From the first day of the tournament other umpires were commenting to me about the team and how good they look. Master Bos said "Many complements on your team this year - they look very good and so enthusiastic".

I was very impressed by the standard of all the competitors. Mr Mantjika and I agreed that the sparring was a higher standard than in Italy - especially some of the mens lighter divisions. I have never seen speed like some of the Brazilian fighters! The division sizes looked similar to Italy - perhaps slightly less in some - but over all a similar competition.

Congratulations to Gray, Lena and Carl in particular. They are simply world class in their events. Carl can fly and has a great future. Lena is retiring from World Champs now so a huge thank you to her for all the input over the years and for leading the way for the other women. And Gray - well he's superhuman as we know - and guess what - there is talk that the World Champs will now include up to 6th dan, so hopefully we will see him competing even after his grading to 5th dan.

It was my first time umpiring at a World Champs so was bit of a learning curve. The Jury President on our ring was particularly strict and more than once I was summoned to the front table to explain my scoring. My impression was that the judging was very fair. Many times the result was awarded to the non-favorite, where in the past if you were up against one of the "big" countries then you didn't stand much of a chance. The ring councils were always carefully constructed of judges from different continents, and finals did not have any judges from a finalists' countries.

Congratulations to the our coaches, manager and everyone that helped the team. And again congratulations to ALL the team members. Some of them came so close to medalling also. I was also proud of their attitude - always modest and showed great sportsmanship and support for other teams. You have done us proud!

Paul M

From the editor:

Well folks, this journey is drawing to a close.

As readers you have been treated well this champs - 
with no less than five principal contributors to the flow of information coming to your screens. This has made being editor for this spectacular and significant event in ITFNZ's history a rewarding (if a little tiring :) ) experience.

Major plaudits must go to the Team management - Coach Andrew Niven - Assistant Coach Lawrence Mantjika and Assistant Honza Kubat - and Team Manager Greg Skinner

I would like to thank for their contributions to the news coverage:
Mr Andrew Niven, IV Dan, Coach, for finding time to give his "views from the top".
Mr Paul McPhail, VI Dan, Umpire, and text-messager extraordinaire. 
Many times we broke the news to the world within minutes if not seconds of the decision in the ring, or the announcement on the podium.
Mr Greg Skinner, Team Manager, whose cellphone call would arrive a little later - and we could send another page up with more detail.
Mr Gray Patterson, IV Dan, just your average laid-back Kiwi Grand Champion, who made time to give us our early reports.
(and I take back the "average" bit :) )

Thanks to all the other team members who managed to send us their stories, and to the supporters who said nice things about the website.

But the journalistic success story came from an experiment we ran for this Champs.
Mr Jake Pearson, IV Dan, was recruited as our "on the spot" dedicated journo.  The massively detailed reports he has sent back have helped us to experience both the pain and the pride that this team have felt over the last few days.  While it was certainly amazing to get instant results, I for one would be looking forward each day for the full story to arrive - they're a darn good read! The choice of someone who knows both the team members, and the ins & outs of a World's tournament, has proven spot-on. (Jake competed in the 2001 Champs in Italy.)

Mr McPhail will be back from Poland in a day, so I will hand his website back to him (after I clean up the mess I made of his nice new home page - all those frivolous headlines :).

Neil Breen, ITFNZ World Champs 2003 editor.

News from the Tournament moved here



2007 - Canada
2006 - Honduras
2005 - Germany
2004 - Italy
2003 - Poland
2002 - Puerto Rico
2001 - Italy
2000 - Korea
1999 - Argentina
1997 - Russia
1994 - Malaysia


The New Zealand Team dedicate their World Champs to the memory of Stuart Overton.
8.5.82 - 1.6.03


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