Takashi proves he’s no pushover

Published 3 October 2007

Gold and bronze medals to Southern Cross University judo powerhouse Takashi Watanabe were a highlight of the team’s participation in this year’s Australian University Games, held on the Gold Coast last week.

In his third and perhaps final year of competition, 22-year-old Takashi put in a disciplined performance to defend his title in the 81-kilogram division and also took away the bronze in the open division. That brings the Bachelor of Sports Tourism student’s overall University Games tally to three gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

“My preparation for the games was very difficult because I’m the only person on campus who competes in judo and so I have no training partners,” said Takashi, a Japanese exchange student who this year qualified as a member of the Green and Gold intervarsity team representing Australia in World University matches.

“The competition this year was very tough and some of my competitors had just returned from international competition, but it was exciting and I enjoyed the socialising, too.”

Takashi was not alone in the winner’s circle. In his first major competition Sydney Hotel School student, Luke Hutton, won bronze in the taekwondo red belt feather-weight division.

Southern Cross University Sport and Recreation Officer Jess Davidson said the medals capped off a successful week for the university’s 63 competitors, who endured some searing temperatures at the outdoor Gold Coast venues.

“A wonderful spirit of friendly competition prevailed, with many of our team members supporting those competing in other disciplines,” Jess said. “Many said it was the best week of their lives and we already have students discussing what teams they will enter next year and when they’ll begin training.”

A further three Southern Cross University teams – the open baseball, mixed touch and open lawn bowls – were in bronze medal contention, but were defeated in the final stages of the games, which last week attracted 6600 competitors from 40 Australian universities.

Photo: Judo champion Takashi Watanabe, won gold and bronze medals at the University Games on the Gold Coast last week.

Media contact: Zoe Satherley Southern Cross University media officer, 6620 3144, 0439 132 095.