Tamworth-based martial arts stars, siblings Scott and Kristie Chaffey, have been left bitterly disappointed after a chance to compete for Australia against the mighty Russians in Siberia next month was cancelled at the last minute.
However, they have quickly shifted their attention to focusing on defending their world titles at the 2017 Koshiki Super World Championships in London, Canada, on July 28
The famed Shorikan Karate-Do exponents won their titles at the last world championships, on the Gold Coast in 2015.
Scott, 35, a cruiserweight, will be going after his fourth world crown while Kristie, 32, a middleweight, is gunning for her fifth.
It is the first time the siblings will try and defend their world titles at the same time.
They know they have to put their Russian experience behind them.
Still, the disappointment burns – with Scott describing fighting in Russia as “a dream”.
He is not sure what happened.
Maybe visa issues, maybe security issues, he said.
But what he does know is he has missed out on what he regards as the chance of a lifetime.
He and his sister have also missed out on a crucial warm-up event prior to heading to Canada.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” he said.
“But as I said, the next focus is the world championships in Canada, which is going to be huge.”
He added: “I’m still trying to process it all.
“It was going to be my first time (fighting in Russia).
“I was really looking forward to the experience.
“But I am still hoping at some stage I will get the chance to compete there.
“It’s still on the bucket list to do.”
Adding to the disappoint, it would have been the first Australian team to compete in Siberia.
Scott said a lot of people had been looking at the event with interest.
“Being able to check out how the Russians and Australians compete (would have been good) to help with the seedings to see how they all stack up on the world stage,” he said.
“It would have been a great opportunity to test yourself on the world stage as the Russians are quite strong competitors,” he added.
“So it would have been a good (form) indicator.
“But on the upside, I’m guaranteed to go to Canada injury free, which may not have happened had I competed in Russia.”
Scott described the upcoming world championships as “huge” – an experience that will be amplified for him because he will captain the Australian team there.
He gives himself a “good shot” of defending his title.
Kristie said she felt “ready” for the world championships.
“I’m just really happy where all my training’s at at the moment and I’m really keen for it,” she said.
In Canada, there will be another New England connection.
Inverell-based Mick King will be the team manager.