Nottingham Judo bagged an impressive medal haul on our self-funded trip to the Judo Tori International tournament that was held in Jodoigne, Belgium on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 April.
Our team, which returned back to England on Monday, took a squad of 19 fighters to the two-day event which attracted over 1000 competitors from across Europe and returned with a staggering eight gold medals, three silver and two bronze.
The trip saw the competitors, coaches and supporters leave Nottingham at 6.00am on Friday 22 April for the 9 hour trip to the event venue, relaxing in the evening preparing for the tournament that got underway on the Saturday.
The Saturday saw nine of our squad in action as the u15, u17, u20/20+ categories got underway.
In the under 15’s Kyra-Mae Leighton secured a silver medal in the u48kg category after winning through to the final then only losing to the eventual gold medallist. Oliver Morrison was in the u50kg category and fought well against some strong competition but did not qualify for a medal position.
The u17’s category saw Alexandra Baker secure a gold medal in the girls +78kg and Jack Hodgson silver in the boys +90kg. Ashton Butterfield boys u50kg and Jack Dreher boys u60kg like Oliver before them fought some great contest but did not make a medal place.
The final category of the day, men u20/20+, would see our squads final three players of that day take to the mat, Paul Newton u66kg and William Humphreys and Arunas Beliukevicius in the u73kg. The three lads all aged under 19 put up some great battles against the majority of older and more experienced players and fought exceptionally well. Unfortunately they did not qualify for medal places but they put up a great fight.
The Sunday saw our squad\'s remaining 10 competitors in action, in the u11’s and u13’s categories. All of the players were pooled together in groups of four by weight therefore each would have a minimum of 3 contests.
Up first was the u11’s, Charlie Young was the first Notts medallist of the day securing three wins and a gold medal in his group. Next Ethan Ward followed Charlie’s success with another three wins and another gold medal. Brandon Allsebrook lost his first two contests receiving an injury in the second one, however he still fought his third contest and won gaining him a bronze medal. The last Notts fighter in this group was Jack Hopewell, who, like Charlie and Ethan before him, stormed to take three wins and secure another gold medal for our high-flying squad.
In the u13’s Jamie Spencer-Pickup set the bar as he won all three contests and took the first Notts gold in this category which was followed by Marija Beliukevicius who also won all her contests to add another gold to the tally. Jessica Bayley won all but one of her contests adding a silver medal to the haul, followed by William Penfold and Dylan Hodgson who both saw off all of their opposition winning all their respective contests and securing another two gold medals. The final Notts player to take to the mat was James Wall and even though he won two out of his three contests he received a bronze medal as two players had the same amount of wins and then the medal positions were decided on points accumulated during each contest.
This fantastic international medal haul follows our recent success at the Samurai Minimon Team Championships in Kidderminster on Sunday 10 April where our teams came away with another hugely impressive medal-haul of two team golds, one bronze and fifth-place.
“The standard of judo throughout the weekend was exceptional and this was a tough competition for all of our squad”, said county coach Jason Dutton.
“The squad fought extremely well and had to adjust their contest strategy throughout, listening and implementing the tactics provided by the coaching team”
“It was a long weekend for all the coaches, players and supporters however they all showed great team spirit, getting up early both days even if they were not competing and supporting their team mates throughout the day. The support from the players and their parents was second to none and this can be attributed to our success.”
“We are definitely improving as a County squad as our results have shown and to progress further we need to continue providing the opportunity for our squads to attend these types of events, however our County funds are limited and we cannot expect our members to continually self fund their trips. It would be great if we could just find some sponsorship to help towards the individuals costs.”
The next county training session will take place at the Bilborough Sports Centre on Sunday 22 May from 10.30am – 12.30pm.
Contest Sheets (Adobe PDF Document)