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Whateley lands Games silver, joins pro ranks By Ben Triandafillou PENINSULA boxer Jason Whateley has fallen just shy of his dream gold medal at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday 14 April after being defeated by none-other than the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, David Nyika. After three attempts at qualifying for the Games, Whateley finally broke through earlier this year and cemented his spot in the 13-strong Australian boxing squad which headed to the Gold Coast for this year’s Commonwealth Games. Whateley entered the international competition with one goal in mind, a gold medal in the heavyweight division (91kg), and it took the world’s seventh best heavyweight boxer, David Nyika, to stop him in the final. After dismantling Northern Ireland in the quarter-finals and then India in the semi-finals, Whateley faced the 22-year-old New Zealander in the main event and went down by a unanimous 3-0 decision. Whateley claimed a silver medal and said that while he was a bit disappointed on missing out on gold, it was still a dream come true for him to fight in front of the Australian crowd. “It’s a weird situation to be in,” he said. “If someone told you several years ago that you’d be competing for a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, you wouldn’t believe them. “But I went there with the mindset to get gold and wouldn’t settle for anything short of it, so it was a bit disappointing to get so close but I’m sure I’ll look back and be proud of

Silver service: Jason Whateley (right) with coach Marcos Amado. Picture: Gary Sissons

what I’ve done and how I fought.” The Commonwealth Games had always been the main target for Whateley after an intense 13-fight year and he made sure he took everything into account when competing against some of the world’s best boxers. “We had a plan and we just had to go through the motions,” he said

when talking about his gold medal fight. “We needed to keep the work rate up. He (Nyika) was pretty different to normal fighters so we had to be smart with it and in the end it wasn’t my day and he deserved the win.” Peninsula Boxing head coach Marcos Amado was there every step of the way with Whateley, and after a

Saints’ youngsters step up to Championship NETBALL

SOUTHERN Saints under-19s and division one players took the step up to make their VNL Championship debut in round three as the side suffered further injuries to their already depleting line-up. The Saints, who are already low on numbers, suffered another three injuries on Wednesday night against league leaders Melbourne University. It was always going to be a task for the inexperienced side to compete with the Lightning and inevitably they ran away with a 23-point victory over the Saints (55-32). But Southern Saints head coach Jade Heinrich wasn’t all too fazed by the performance as she said, “it was always going to pretty tough for 18 and 19-year-olds to come up to this level”. “At the end of the day, you look at the game and it wasn’t all that bad,” she said. “Across the board they (Melbourne University) have some really skilful players but they (division one and under-19s players) got out there and gave it a good crack. “Mel Webster came up from the under-19s and played most of the game in the centre, and she held her own and did some really good things out there. “While some aren’t quite ready yet, we are going to need those players to try and step up and we are going to need to do everything we can to get them feeling comfortable and get them to know their new team mates as quickly as possible.” Southern Saints’ division one side also fell to Melbourne University (52-36) but the under-19s dug to deep for a one-goal victory (35-36). Heinrich said it was a tough game for the Saints, but they did very well to hang on in the end. “They were up for most of the game, but Melbourne Uni were coming very hard, so it showed a lot of character for them to hold on for the win,” she said. Peninsula Waves faced the Ariels in round three and copped narrow losses in their Championship (41-42) and division one (47-49) matches, going down by one and two goals

year and a half of working together, Amado said he couldn’t be prouder of how Whateley handled himself in the ring. “We’re not getting outdone by guys who are at another gym around the corner from us,” he said. “We are only losing fights in the major international competitions and against the world’s best boxers.”

“No one trains harder than he (Whateley) does. We still have a long way to go but we’re heading in the right direction.” Last Monday, Whateley and fellow Australian boxer, and 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Harry Garside, went down to Peninsula Boxing for a 45-minute meet-andgreet with the junior boxers and put on show their rewards for representing the country. But after a year which accumulated a Commonwealth Games silver medal, two Australian titles, a Victorian title, an Australasian Golden Gloves gold medal and a top eight finish in the World Championships, Whateley said he had gained a lot of experience and is ready to take a “bit of time off now”. “I’ll be back around June to lateMay and until then I’ll just be doing little bits and pieces,” he said. “I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter now.” That “new chapter” was announced on Sunday 6 May as joining the professional ranks after racking up 98 fights in his amateur career. Whateley took to Facebook to announce the news and said, “Through my amateur days I’ve travelled the world and gotten to see places I never imagined I’d visit, 11 Countries in total and fought in every state of this great and beautiful country but it’s time I make a change... It’s time to join the pro ranks!” A time and date is yet to be announced on when he will make the transition but he said he will make sure he’ll “never die wondering”.

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respectively. The Waves and Ariels produced a hot contest across all four quarters where the score was level for a large portion of both matches but eventually both of the Ariels team’s managed to hold their leads and walk away with the wins. The Waves sought revenge in the under-19s and the younger side secured their second win of the season with a 17-goal victory over the Ariels (55-38). The Waves will face third-placed Geelong Cougars next Wednesday at 7:00pm while the Southern Saints will come up against Hawks Netball at 9:40pm.

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