Former kickboxer, martial artist dies


THE country lost a former kickboxer and martial artist living with disabilities after he had succumbed to an “unknown illness” in Port Moresby on Nov 23, according to an official.
Kickboxing legend Stanley Nandex told The National that the late Gabi Yura Leana had contracted illness in 2010.
“He started losing a lot of weight and we tried to assist him in every possible ways, getting medical check-ups, putting him on nutrition but the illness just kept on getting worse by 2017,” he said.
“That is when he could not compete anymore. So he only helped coach and mentor young fighters until Saturday (Nov 23) when he left us.”
Nandex said Leana, from Central and Morobe, competed in karate and taekwondo.
“He first started kickboxing in 1989. He was one of the best fighters in his weight class. He was feared,” he said.
“His nickname was ‘the Steel’ and he competed in kyokushin and karate under Sensei Walter Schenubelt and in taekwondo with Edward Kassman.
“He was an all-round fighter because he could compete in different disciplines of martial arts.
“He won most of his international and local fights. Outside of sports, Leana was humble and respectable.”