GRIFFITH’S Nick Taprell narrowly went down to Bondi’s Ari Slamer in the middleweight final of the Riverina Kyokushin Championships at the weekend.
Taprell progressed to the final with some good early fights and then came up against Slamer, who is a teammate on the Australian team, which is heading to South Africa for the World Cup in September.
Riverina Martial Arts and Total Fitness owner Frank Cirillo said it was a top effort by Taprell to make it to the final.
“It was a very closely contested fight,” Cirillo said.
“Nick was happy with the improvement from his last fight.”
Cirillo said the event was a success, with a number of local fighters performing well.
Alanah Jeffery won the non-contact 16 to 17 youth division and the full contact lightweight division.
Cirillo said she fought some tough battles on the day.
Two locals were awarded spirit awards for their determination in fights during the day.
Sharlette O’Meley won the non-contact youth spirit award and Dayne Bowen won the colts full contact spirit award.
“He was outclassed, outmatched, outstrengthed but he just didn’t give up. He had one of those fights where the crowd really got behind him,” Cirillo said.
He said the event, held at Griffith Leagues Club, drew a large crowd.
“We had competitors from everywhere. They came from Adelaide, Geelong, Sydney, Griffith and surrounding areas. It was very successful,” Cirillo said.