Zane Hopman competed against top tier fighters from around the globe at the IFMA Heavyweight Muaythai World Championships at Langkawi, Malaysia earlier this year, and came away a gold medalist.

Zane, who lives in the Wairarapa, faced off against a competitor from Kazakhstan in the first round of his scheduled heavyweight fights (under 91kg) and won by a unanimous decision. He also won his second round bout against Germany by unanimous decision before competing for gold against a kick-boxer from France. After three grueling rounds, Zane outclassed the Frenchman and came away with the gold medal.

“Three fights over three days is what I had to put my body through and I am extremely proud of myself for enduring the pain and taking away such an amazing honour for myself and my country,” says Zane.

“Wearing the New Zealand colours and our flag high as I was awarded the gold medal will be a memory I hold for the rest of my life.

“I also wish to show, through these words and this photograph, my most humble thanks for the support I received for my journey to Langkawi, and the chance to make my dreams of success on the world stage possible. Without that support it would not have been possible and I could not be more thankful for the help,” he says.

After returning home from Malaysia, Zane attended the 2014 Wairarapa Sports Awards, where he won the Senior Sportsperson of the Year and the overall Supreme Sports Award of the night.

Zane Hopman.