On top of the world
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
IT'S a great feeling to be sitting on top of the world, just ask two Coffs Harbour youngsters.
For three days they have been among 800 competitors showing their skills in front of nearly 2000 spectators at the Gold Coast in the world all styles martial arts championships.
Come finals time everyone's eyes are on you and the ultimate prize is a world title.
Pretty daunting stuff for the most seasoned cutomer and the experience may even be a little less harrowing if you've had time to get used to the idea.
Nine year-old Angus Field wasn't that lucky.
The karate student had reached the world championship final of the nine-years sparring section and it was the first final of the day.
Introduced to the crowd, Angus was greeted by something he didn't expect - a wave of noise and a sea of faces.
To create further tension, when full-time was called in his final, scores were level at 5-all.
"From there it bacame sudden-death and the winner was the first to score," said a proud shihan, Mark Passmore.
"Angus won when he scored with a headkick."
World-champ in sparring and finishing third in the forms section for his age, young Angus had a weekend to remember.
To make the weekend even more memorable for the Field family, older sister Kiarra-Lea also claimed a world title.
Sporting a trophy almost as big as her and a smile to match, the 12 year-old was just as proud as her brother and she's now the world champion in the 12 years section in forms.
Other performances of distinction from locals under Passmore's tutelage were achieved by Riley Davis who finished second in the world for eight years forms while Sarah Bertram finished ninth behind Field in the 12 years forms.
"You couldn't have planned it any better could you?," an excited Passmore added.
"You always go with great expectations but when it's a world championship you basically see what happens when you get there.
"As it turns out, I don't know who was happier, them for winning or me for coaching."
The next challenge for these talented youngsters is tournament in Japan next March.