Two sisters from Hawke's Bay have shocked the competition at an international martial arts championship, taking away three gold medals and one silver between them.
The Florida International Taekwon-do championship in Ocala, Florida attracted talent from Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, United Kingdom, Mongolia, and the USA.
Sisters Vana Smith, 6, and Pippa Yule, 14, attended along with their family, including their mother, Kirtsen Yule.
Vana made an impression in her world stage debut, competing first out of the New Zealand squad.
Coach Ben Evans said she won gold in the patterns category and silver in sparring, beating a "taller, older, and higher-ranked blue belt".
Evans, who is also president of the NZ International Taekwon-do Federation, said Vana displayed discipline and masterfully executed her routines in a way others her age could not do.
"She worked really hard back home. She has good discipline and I guess at the end of the day, she just followed the plan," Evans said.
"It really set the tone for New Zealand. You know, our youngest competitor literally cleaned up on her patterns."
Vana said she wasn't nervous. "No, I was excited to go," she said.
When asked if she found it hard going up against the girl with the blue belt, she said, "no, I kicked her".
Her older sister, Pippa Yule, also impressed the judges, winning gold in patterns and sparring for her category.
She beat another New Zealand boy to secure the win.
"There were some tough competitors. I was quite nervous," Pippa said.
Evans said like her younger sister, Pippa displayed strength and poise
"The main thing for me is her drive," Evans said, "she never, gave up. Even just with the training, everything that I would put her through, she would never argue, she would never have an attitude about it."
The sisters were among 13 competitors from the ITF Taekwon-do Centre in Hastings who travelled for the event.
Pippa is hoping her next international competition will be in Italy in 2025.
Their mother, Kirsten Yule, said it was an amazing experience being by her daughters' side as they took home gold after starting the sport only 15 months prior.
"I think pride was probably an understatement. There's not really any words that you can use to explain how just how amazing they had done with such a short amount of time of being part of taekwondo and just their achievements in that short time has just been unreal."
Evans, who wasn't able to coach them in person, felt a similar way.
"It makes me feel proud, our training methods are not the usual training methods that everyone would think, so what it means to me is that what we're doing is working.
"Our kids are improving and I'm pleased that even on the international stage our kids can succeed."