JEWISH athletes Richard Basckin and Yonatan Freund helped Australia come first out of five in the 2023 Oceania Karate Championships in Christchurch on June 30, winning a gold medal each and their first senior Oceania titles.
The duo have trained together for many years, and recently established a dojo (training school) in Sydney called Miyagi Kan Karate East.
Basckin (pictured at the tournament) won the male kumite under-60kg competition, defeating Fiji’s Sandip Pala 3-0 in the final after winning his qualifying bouts 8-0 and 8-2.
He told The AJN the first part of the final was scoreless, “as we were testing each other out, but then I scored one point to get on top and finished strongly”.
Freund won 8-0 and 12-3 in his under-84kg qualifying bouts and clinched gold after edging Max Noble in an all-Aussie final.
The bout finished 0-0, with Freund winning by “hantei” (umpire’s decision).
“He [Noble] is a very good fighter and we know each other well, so I had to just really focus on doing my job, going the distance, and gradually gain the ascendancy,” Freund said.