Julia Ratcliffe, Max Brown (& canoe partner) and Andrea Anacan recently represented New Zealand in Japan in what many have described as New Zealand's best yet.
Julia Ratcliffe, the women's New Zealand hammer throw champion, produced a strong first round performance with a throw of 72.30M. Placing her in 4th position out of a field of 15 throwers, Julia qualified to go into the final round several days later. The final 12 lined up in the cage and Julia's best throw landed at 72.69M and placed her in 9th position overall. A grateful Julia said afterwards 'Still processing a lot of feelings about last night but the overwhelming feeling is gratitude 🙏🏼 Grateful for Dave. Grateful for the epic team I have supporting me both on the ground and from NZ. .....Grateful for my body holding up. Grateful for the outpouring of love from all around the world. Your messages mean everything.'
Max Brown and his canoe partner Kurtis Imrie made it to the final K2 1000M canoe sprint race, having to paddle and prove themselves in 2 previous heats. Max mentioned at the starting line that when he looked at the other competitors, he could see world champions in many of the other boats. Finishing 5th in the final, Max and Kurtis were ranked 15th leading into the event so their final performance was a cut above expectations. 'To say Kurtis and I achieved 5th still feels surreal. Our original goal was to make the A final, so to reach even further is a dream come true.
Andrea Anacan was one of only 10 karateka who qualified to compete in the women's kata. New Zealand's first representative in karate in Japan, Andrea faced a tough line up in pool B. Andrea completed her 2 kata but did not make it to the final rounds of competition. 'What an honour to represent the NZ team, to have the fern on my chest 🌿, still so surreal, thank you for allowing me to represent you 🇳🇿'.
We are super excited to have supported these elite athletes on their journey to representing their country and beyond and made us all proud.