Topic: MMA - Mixed Martial Arts

NZ Kick boxers excel at Worlds

By Moana Makapelu Lee

The World Kickboxing Association New Zealand Team have come away with 32 medals at the ICO World Cup in the UK and the Unified World Champs in Italy. A particularly special victory for gold medalist Tahuri Tibble, going to battle on the same lands as his great-grandfather.

Fifteen athletes, 32 medals and all 100% proud.

Three-time gold medallist Tibble says, ''We believed that we were going to bring the gold home cause we trained hard for it.'

The Kiwi team landed back in Auckland today after hitting their target internationally. Tibble has reclaimed his South Pacific kickboxing title which will see him compete for the Intercontinental title in South Korea in February. 

His wife Suzanne also claimed three golds and one bronze, "I'm over the moon you know, it's a one time opportunity you know."

The Kiwis held their own against 4900 competitors in England and Italy. For Tibble Italy was Magnifico.

"My great-grandfather Te Rau Whiro Tibble he was there in battles like a lot of our tupuna there and somehow I got some mana from that, stepping up on the big stage in Italy, defending my South Pacific title."

For most, it was their first world champs, but it's definitely not their last.