Nottinghamshire Judo Squad produced an eye-catching six-medal haul at the Judo Soeverein Cup on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th April against some of the continent’s brightest judoka in Lommel, Belgium.
The high-quality event attracted judoka from nations including France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and hosts Belgium.
The impressive Arena De Soeverein venue, which featured eight contest areas on both days, staged the highly-regarded 2011 Junior European Championships in September.
On Saturday, Nottingham’s boy’s quintet of Charlie Young, Jack Hopewell, Ethan Ward, James Wall and Patrick Licence were all in action.
British Schools Championships competitor Ethan Ward, 10, from Cobra Judo Club won all four contests to march to gold while Midland Area u20 Championships silver medallist Charlie Young, 10, of Ryecroft Judo Club, won his three contests to top the medal rostrum.
Cobra’s Jack Hopewell, 10, took bronze while British Schools bronze medallist James Wall, 11, and British Schools silver medallist Patrick Licence, 10 - both of Ryecroft Judo Club - took silver medals to complete a stunning return of five medals from five judoka.
On Sunday, brothers William Penfold, 12, and Midland Area u20 bronze medallist Harvey Penfold, 13, were in action alongside Ryecroft colleagues Joshua Lloyd, 14, and Jack Dreher, 16, grandson of Ryecroft Chairman and British Judo’s 2010 Children’s Coach of The Year Tony Shaw.
British Schools bronze medallist Ben Skelton, 14, and sister Alice Skelton, both of Retford Judo Club, took to the tatami along with Portland’s Alexandra Baker, 16, and Ryecroft duo Jessica Bayley, 12, and Midlands Area u20 bronze medallist Kyra-Mae Leighton, 14, completing the line-up.
Kyra-Mae Leighton lost out in her opening fight but returned to take the win in the bronze medal contest as there were six judoka in her category.
Alexandra Baker was narrowly defeated in her two contests to take fifth-place.
Harvey Penfold won his opening contest before narrowly losing out his second contest but returned to winning ways in his third bout to seal a bronze medal showdown. Harvey narrowly lost to finish in fifth-place.
Nottinghamshire Judo Team Manager Paul Keeton said: “I was very pleased with the results and efforts of all the players, it was a very successful and enjoyable trip."
Nottinghamshire Judo coach Jason Dutton said: “Our results on Saturday were magnificent; Sunday was a big step up and still our players were a credit to us.”
Tony Shaw said: “The setup at Nottinghamshire Judo is very good, the organisation was excellent and that’s down to the hard work of Paul (Keeton), Jason (Dutton) and Terri-Ann (Elliot) as well as the support from players' parents and family.”
Written by Mark Pickering - British Judo Media Officer