What a great way to start the year! Five of our troop came along to battle in Belgium and they came up against some tough opposition from Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. Alaniese, Dan V and Erik were unable to log a result, although all fought very well. Mason won his first contest convincingly, but then lost in the quarter final and in the repercharge, to place 7th.
Christopher had a fantastic day, however, seeing off challenges from Belgian, Dutch and German competitors, all in gritty contests. He then lost in the semi to a strong Polish left-hander, but came back well to dominate in the bronze medal contest, winning with several scores on the board.
Then in the evening of the same day and at the same venue a separate senior ne-waza tournament was scheduled. Daniel and Alaniese fancied having a go and both put in good perforamnces. Alaniese finished in 5th place.
This was an excellent event for our developing fighting squad. In the red belt section Michael Rice and Oscar topped their resepctive groups and each came away with a gold medal. Mateusz also fought well in Michael's group and earned himself a place in the final. The contest between Michael and Mateusz was an exciting affair and Mateusz was a worthy recipient of the silver. Lilia's silver was also fantastic, as it was only her second ever competition. There were bronzes for Sasha and Sammy too, very pleasing as it was Sammy's debut.
In the yellow belt section Jack came away with a great gold and Damian took silver. Well done to the whole team.
PS Nekoda fought in a grading at the same venue and won all 3 contests by ippon, to earn herself 15 points towards her 3rd Dan.
Harkirat had a fantastic weekend... No medal on either day, but the fact that she earned selection for the senior event is in itself a major achievement, at only the age of 16. On Junior day she placed 5th, just losing out on a place in the final pool. She also earned some points towards her 2nd Dan. Then on Sunday in the senior event she fought members of the British Olympic Team and gave them a serious run for their money. She was tough, determined and intelligent and despite placing 5th on the Sunday too, she had a very positive experience.
Nekoda was our other entrant in the Junior (u20)event, her first event since coming back from injury last Summer. She fought with composure and confidence and won her first 6 contests by ippon; impressive stuff! Her final was a much more challenging contest, but at the end of Golden Score Nekoda was given the decision and became British Junior Champion again.
The girls were outstanding ambassadors for EJC and I am looking forward to being with them for the exciting year ahead.
On the Monday John Hough was up in the Masters section. He fought some of his best ever competitive judo and despite an early round loss, he clawed his way back through the repercharge and won the bronze in a contest he dominated from the outset. This is John's first major International medal, the first of many we hope.
Then on the Tuesday Harkirat fought in the u20 Junior section. Despite a good draw and great attitude the effect of the British Trials weekend was clear. Harkirat was unable to gain a rostrum spot and placed 5th.
This event is often a bogey event for us, but this year was different. Each fighter performed well. Ali A, Christopher, Ibrahim and Daniel V were all on great form but fell short of the podium. Blixa and Little Blake each placed 5th after some tough battles. Big Blake, Mason, Eliot and Nekoda all then consolidated their national medal winning performances of recent weeks and months, winning bronze, silver, silver and gold respectively. Onward and upward!
Competing in the Netherlands is always tough, against strong, experienced judoka, often from semi-pro clubs and sports schools. However, EJC proved that they can rumble with the best, with the team winning a large number of matches.
Sofija won 5 straight contests to take gold at her new weight and 3 of those bouts went to a referee's decision - never easy. Little Blake was on good form, beating a boy from the Turkish national team and eventually placing 5th, almost in the medals. Chris was on excellent form too, winning his first 2 matches by ippon before losing out in the later rounds. Well done also to Mason, Ali A, Michael O' (international debut), Damian and Luke D for their great judo. It was another fun trip abroad and now we look forward to the Malta Senior Open in March.
An excellent day for the tiny Mighties. Sofija had 4 contests, winning all, even the very tough final, to take a great gold. Michael O'Toole and Damian both fought with heart and good decision-making skills and won silvers for their trouble. Omar won a bronze and Jack-Jack placed 5th after winning early contests, but losing in the bronze medal match.
The girls were on the case today, in the hunt for medals and for GB ranking points. Nekoda and Julia both contesting the women's u57kg group, fought with skill to take a gold and bronze respectively. A great medal for Julia in her debut for EJC.
Well done to the EJC team who attended this tough national ranking event. Our 5 fighters gave of their best and came away with 2 fifth places and a bronze medal for their efforts. Erik had 5 challenging contests and winning 3 out of 5 was good enough for 5th place and some ranking points to boot. Big Blake repeated this result, giving him a placing at each of the National events in this cycle soa far. Mason won the bronze after an epic last match, winning on a split decision at the end of golden score, against the talented Red Phoenix boy.
Christopher and Daniel V also fought well, but no placings for them this time.
Above: Mason, relieved, with his medal at the end of the event.
L-R back: John Hough, Dan Rounds, Julia Scardone, Lukasz Czyzewski
L-R front: Mabbs (Kyu Shin Ryu), Joe Thorpe, Lyam Quin, Daniel Woodhouse
We had a great day in Worthing, with every player picking up a medal and performaing excellently. Adrian Mabbs, fighting for Kyu Shin Ryu, won gold with Ease in the men's -81kg group. The EJC gang had to pick up their game to match our friend's delivery, and so they did, with Julia also winning gold, Daniel and Lyam winning silvers and Dan, Joe and John all taking bronzes. Particular congratulations must go to Dan for a brilliant debut in competitive judo.
Following the about senior contests, Lyam and John also jumped into the masters section where they won a bronze and a silver respectively.
Ali Abdelaal and David Sookias fought some fierce battles and won some tough contests to come away with 2 silver medals they can be very proud of. Well done boys.
Below: Ali with his silver medal.
We had a lovely trip tp Malta,, being very well looked after by the Maltese Federation. Little Luke and Peter took part in the Maltese Dragons section of the event, aimed at all under 12s. The two boys worked really hard and won a souvenir gold trophy each at the end of the session.
In the International Senior Tournament Harkirat had a strange time: with no-one to fight in her own weight she fought up and won a silver, losing in the final to another Brit. So she decided to enter yet another group and won some excellent contests to find herself in the final again - this time settling for silver against club-mate Nekoda, who won this group. Nekoda, also seeking extra practice, decided to fight up a weight too and beat oponents from GBR, ITA and MTA, including a double Olympian from the host country, to take her 2nd gold of the competition. Very well done to both ofd these Junior girls, for putting in such great performances at this Senior event.
In the Junior age band Julia worked hard, beating opponents she has lost to before but not quite making it into the medal fights. Harkirat fought well to place 5th and Nekoda won her 6 gold of the year.
In the Senior event Harkirat had a straight final and losing after a little slip up on the ground meant a second place for her. Julia fought very well in this open senior section and placed 7th.
Nekoda battled hard at u57kg and won some good bouts, only losing out to World Cup player Inglis from Scotland, in the semi. Nekoda won her bronze fight with ease and so took her second home country medal of the day. Well done to our 3 girls.
Jerome fought in the senior men's u81kg division and started the day well, but didn't quite make it to the podium.
Joe and Lukasz were unable to medal. However, Jerome performaed well, winning a bronze and some valuable home country ranking points. Julia then had a brilliant day, winning each fight by ippon to win the gold. a by-product of her great effort was that she earned enough points to complete her first Dan and is also now equal 4th on the Senior GB ranking list - not bad for a Junior!
We had an excellent day in Nottingham with 4 tiny mighties coming along for some competitive practice. It was Patryk R's debut event and he worked really hard, hard enough to win gold! Little Megan W also fought out of her skin to win gold, releasing the awewsome power of her harai on some poor unsuspecting opponent!
Sasha and Hollie, becoming regulars in our fighting squad, both fought well to win a bronze each. Well done to the whole gang.
Nekoda represented Great Britain at this European Cup, a pre-cursor to this year's under 20 European Championships. She performed excellently, winning her first 3 contests by ippon, against Spanish, Canadian and Dutch opponents. She then lost the semi-final to the German athlete, but came back strongly in the bronze medal contest, to defeat the home girl - Babcenco. It was Babcenco who beat Nekoda in last year's event and therefore this win was important and very welcome. Congratulations on your medal from all at EJC.
Our tiny mighties were indeed mighty today, with individual results as follows:
GOLD Megan W
GOLD Mark C
GOLD Sasha D
SILVER Patrick G
SILVER Luke D
SILVER Paige B
BRONZE Ellis D
BRONZE Peter D
BRONZE Alessio M
BRONZE Caoimhe E
BRONZE Nikita R
This was a great gang of little fighters and we salute each of them for their hard work today. We offer special congratulations to Ellis and Mark, for whom it was their competitive debut.
Our team was the underdog from the beginning with several being light in their weight groups and all being young for this event, but with true EJC spirit a great performance emerged. Our tinies defeated some excellent teams, with great team spirit and collective work ethic. These little guys were rewarded with a fantastic team bronze. Congratulations to Peter, Patrick, Alessio, Luke, Megan, Mark and Paige for their fantastic performance.
We had a fantastic day at the Sportif event, with a team of 6 hard-working individuals aiming at glory. It was a tough international tournament with high level teams in attendance from Portugal, Denmark, Germany and Sweden. Damian and Omar learned alot but couldn't reach the podium. Kiran fought with real heart, a great performance from a young athlete who hasn't competed for quite some time. No medal but a great platform on which to build at future events.
The brothers grim, as I am sure they will become known as, put in fantastic performances. Mason fought in one of the toughest groups at the event, surrounded by other national medalists. He rose to the challenge to win a well-deserved bronze. His little brother, Blake was in a different league in his group. In each of his 6 contests he was focussed and determined and was rewarded with all 6 wins, 4 by ippon. He won the gold!
Julia then competed in the oldest category of the event (u20) and fought well against some very tough, seasoned opposition. She won a bronze for her efforts. In the same age band was our friend from Malta, Jeremy Saywell (Commonwealth bronze medalist). He stayed with us throughout the competition and training camp.
The camp was well organised with some excellent coaching and all EJC members had a good time, learning lots and training hard. We will be supporting this event again next year.
We had a very good day in Kidderminster. 7 of the mighties took to the mat and brought home 6 medals. Little Megan was in fine form again, winning gold, as was Erik, who won his first gold of 2012. Erik's sister, Lilia, also fought well to win a silver. Bronzes were won by Hollie, Hagar and Christopher. Omar just missed out, placing 5th. Omar fought very well and showed how hard he has been working in lessons, making great strides. Well done to the whole team - it was a lovely day, mostly due to the team ethic the EJC members displayed.
EJC had only a small group of competitors today, but they fought very well. Jack Vary won his first contest with a greqat ippon but did not progress further. Ibrahim really showed his recent improvements, just missing out on the medals. Michael O has 6 tough contests, placing 5th at the end of it all. In the older age group Damian and Lilia put on a great show, with each winning a well-deserved bronze medal.
This April saw Ealing Judo Club fly all the way to Belfast for the Northern Ireland Open, a British ranking event and an important tournament on the 2012 calendar. With 12 competitors in the team it promised to be a busy weekend, and that it was. In the Junior (u20) section Harkirat Sekhon (u48kg) and Nekoda Davis (u57kg) each won gold, after winning every contest. Hanna Toogood (u70kg) won a bronze and Daniel Woodhouse (u81kg) placed 5th.
In the Masters section our lone ranger, John Hough, placed 5th after 3 good wins, losing out in the repecharge. Our senior group were also in fine form, with Michal Majewski and Joe Thorpe taking early victories, despite their relative inexperience. They didn't make it to the podium but fought well and are looking forward to future events. However Lukasz Czyzewski (u81kg) placed 7th and Julia Scardone (u57kg), who is still a Junior, placed 5th. From there the medals rolled in with a gold from youngster Harkirat Sekhon at under 48kg, her second of the weekend, a second gold for Nekoda Davis too, who fought excellently against seasoned senior GB international opposition. It was an outstanding result for her and a very welcome one as she heads off to the Italian Junior European Cup this weekend, with the England Team. Our 3rd senior gold of the event went to Jerome Robinson-Reid, who has only recently returned to competition at this level. We were lucky enough to find a photo opportunity with World Champion and former GB National coach Loretta Cusack, who had encouraged and supported both athletes and coaches throughout the event.
On the Sunday our two younger fighters, Blake Gulaidi-Barber and Omar Mansouri took a silver and a 7th respectively, to round off a fantastic weekend for Ealing Judo Club.
GOLD Sasha Derkach
GOLD Megan Walmsley
GOLD Michael O'Toole
GOLD Husain Issa
GOLD Mateusz Grochowski
GOLD Hollie Walmsley
SILVER Nikita Rybalka
SILVER Paige Bartlett
SILVER Peter Davies
SILVER Daniel MacKenzie
SILVER Mark Charadnik
SILVER Patrick Rakowski
SILVER Amir Asgari
SILVER Elmo Toosey
SILVER Michael Rice
BRONZE Luke Davies
BRONZE Caoimhe Earles
BRONZE Patrick Grochowski
BRONZE Albie Toosey
BRONZE Kacper Ochiki
BRONZE Lorcan Jeffreys
BRONZE Tarek Jaafar
BRONZE Fearghal Jeffreys
BRONZE Kanoko Morita
Some of our gang with their medals, including Michael O'Toole, who won a trophy for 'Best Boy' of the tournament.
Nekoda continued along her impressive 2012 pathway today in Italy, with a gold medal against some of Europe's toughest competitors. She won all 5 contests, 4 by ippon, against opponents from Italy, Canada, Germany and Hungary.
This is a great achievement to add to her bronze in Portugal in March. Nekoda is 18th on the European ranking list but will springboard up to the top ten with today's win. Congratulations to Nekoda from all at EJC.
We had an excellent day with our under 12's, under 16's and under 20's all seeing action in Peterborough. Well done to Joe, James, Daniel Vary, Daniel Woodhouse, Ibrahim, Hanna, and Omar for their hard work today as well as all of those below, who won medals. Michael O'Toole fought well and placed 5th in a tough group, just missing out on the bronze.
GOLD Sofija Bojat
SILVER Hollie Walmsley
SILVER Jack Vary
BRONZE Blake Gulaidi-Barber
BRONZE Sofija Bojat (second category)
BRONZE Hollie Walmsley (second category)
GOLD Mason Gulaidi-Barber
SILVER Blixa Aguerreberry
BRONZE Ali Abdelaal
BRONZE Erik Gee
BRONZE Christopher Corrigan
BRONZE Luka Kljutic
GOLD Julia Scardone
GOLD Eliot Bradford
In this group Julia also scored points toward her 2nd Dan!
Above: Blixa with his silver medal.
Jo and Nekoda travelled to Kaunas in Lithuania for this tough international tournament. With valuable ranking points available Nekoda set about her task with the goal of springing up the European ranks. She beat Szymczak of Poland in the second round, after having a bye in the first. She then beat the Swiss competitor by a yuko before taking out the European number 3 on penalties, Kazanoi of Belarussia. She faced the home girl, Kiskel, in the final and won with a huge maki komi for ippon inside the first minute. Adding the points from this excellent win to her already impressive European ranking, takes Nekoda to the number 3 spot! See the link below for an EJU report on the event, including some words about Nekoda.
The photo above is Nekoda throwing for ippon in the final. Kiskel of Lithuania was not please... and was not expecting it! And below you can see Nekoda on the rostrum. Great photo courtesy of the Lithuanian Judo Federation.
There is no such thing as an easy tournament in Holland and this one proved the point again! The four EJC fighters took to the mat with their usual bravery and professionalism and pulled off some outstanding results.
Sofija was first up and with a dozen hardy-looking warriors ahead of her, taking a medal was always going to be a battle. But, as always, Sofija dug in and fought with great determination and skill to win all bar one of her 5 contests and the loss was down to the wire, with a decision at the end of time. Sofija's reward was a welcome bronze medal and a big heap of satisfaction.
Next to the mat was little Luke. He had ten in his group but was lucky to receive a bye in the first round. With a chance to watch his opposition in action he prepared well and put ina great performance to overcome a real bruiser in the quarter final. In the semi a close run contest again produced victory, placing Luke in the final. There he met an old adversary from a Ducth tournament earlier in the year, but this one was too big a mountain to climb. He fought well but had to settle for silver.
Then it was the turn of the Gulaidi-Barber boys. Mason and Blake had 26 and 18 fighters in their respective groups and all of them looked strong. Each won their first contest with some great judo and great attitudes. Blake won his second, lost his third and then needed 3 straight wins to take the bronze. He won the next with a massive ippon and the one after with a well deserved decision. In the bronze medal match he got caught and had to make do with 5th place.
Mason then came out for his second match and also lost out, to an unlucky waza-ari at the beginning of time, that was just out of reach by the bell. The bronze looked a long way off but Mason was ready for the challenge and won the next 4 contests in a row, 3 of them by the maximum score of ippon. In the bronze medal match he fought the same boy he had lost to earlier in the day and again couldn't quite overtake him. Mason also placed 5th.
Mason and Blake's 5th places were earned in as tough a way as any medal. With 13 contests and 9 wins between them they showed true heart and endurance. It was a fantastic performance from each of our 4 fighters and all should feel proud, as I do. Well done EJC!
Jerome and Nekoda fought at this very well attended Senior European Cup. Jerome was unable to place, after losing to the eventual bronze medalist. Nekoda had a great day winning 3 out of her 5 contests and placing 7th. She was the best of all the British u57kg fighters - amazing considering she is still a junior! Good work Nekoda.
Above: 4 of our red belts with their medals - well done Mateusz (silver), Megan (gold), Sasha (bronze) and Mark (gold). Patryk also won a silver today. Great performances from all of our red belts today.
Well done to our yellow belts too: Michael O and Jack-Jack with gold and Hollie with her silver. Our little ones demonstrated some fantastic judo today. Well done tinies!
Nekoda kept up with her winning streak this weekend with a string of important wins to clinch gold at this top Junior event in the European calendar. The valuable ranking points see her jump into the number 2 slot on the European ranking list. Great job Nekoda!
EJC had a great weekend with a shed load of fantastic performances from all levels within the event.
On the Saturday there were 5th places from Ibrahim, little Blake, Omar & Joe, with Tohgo, Jack Jack, Michael O & Erik just missing out on placings. There were excellent bronze medal winning performances from Ali, Luka & Daniel V. Blixa and Phoebe won silvers, while Julia and Daniel W each took gold.
The Sunday saw some equally good performances from our seniors with Jerome winning a silver and Julia winning a bronze. Good work from the whole EJC team.
Two EJC members travelled to Holland with the England Squad to compete at this tough, well attended international tournament. Mason Gulaidi-Babrer, with the squad for his debut, performed well to win two contests before losing two in the repercharge. See photo below.
Harkirat had a great day, digging in hard to reach the final of the Junior women's u48kg group. She lost the final, but won a very satisfying silver medal, her second at this tough international. Venray medals are notoriously hard to come by, but Harkirat has yet again shown what she is made of. Well done to both of our little warriors.
We had 4 tiny mighties fighting at this event; a historically tough mini-mon event. Pierre and Patrick were both entering their first event for some months after a break from competition, but both performed well to place 7th. Damian had a great day with a confident and dominant performance to take a bronze, having only just missed out on a place in the final. Sofija fought well and with a great, positive attitude, winning in the early rounds but getting caught in the final. A silver was her reward. Well done to all 4 of these little athletes.
We had a very good day at Crystal Palace, with lots of medals and lots of good performances from EJC members fighting for Ealing, Hounslow and Brent. Hanna won herself a silver after a string of clear wins. There were bronzes for Ibrahim, Remi, Luka and Alaniese.
Over the Ealing Borough Judo Team placed 4/20 for the girls and 5/27 for the boys. Well done to all of the LYG judoka.
Our 5 fighters were a great little crowd to be with today, all eager and ready to learn. Mark and little Megan won all of their fights, most by ippon, to take two gold medals. Sasha, Patryk and Mateusz won bronzes, with Mateusz just missing out on a place in the final. Well done to our tiny mighties.
Above: Sasha and Mark with their medals.
I was so proud of the whole mighty EJC crew today. Everyone performed out of their skin in a very tough tournament, the toughest we have in the UK at the moment.
In the yellow belt section Michael won his first 2 contests with ippon, but lost the next two. Hollie and Jack each started strongly but losses late in the day saw each place 5th, just outside the medals.
In the orange and green belt section Omar was at his veery best winning two and losing two against seasoned opposition - no medal, but an outstanding day of judo from him. Erik also lost out this time. Chris came close, placing 7th in a tough group.
Ibrahim was on fire after losing his first, coming back to win 5 contests straight in the repercharge and all by ippon. he was very unlucky to lose his 7 th fight and had to make do with 7th place. It was the best he has ever fought and the whole club congratulates little Ibrahim.
Sofija had some really high quality opposition and had some real battles with them all, but she triumphed, winning all 4 contests to take the gold. Sofija was very proud of her achievement, especially as this was her first time in the new grade band.
In the blue and brown belt section Ali, Blixa and Dan V all gave it a good shot, but no medals there today for them.
Well done to all of the tiny mighties who came along and many thanks to the Camberley, Osterley and Crofton Judo Club members who also supported our little event. We would also like to thank Loretta Cusack-Doyle for coming along to present medals - this was a real moment of inspiration for our little ones. The medals were as follows:
GOLD Megan Walmsley
GOLD Hollie Walmsley
GOLD Sasha Derkach
GOLD Luke Davies
GOLD Peter Davies
GOLD Jack Vary
SILVER Kanoko Morita
SILVER Tyler Offiah
SILVER Daniel MacKenzie
SILVER Albie Toosey
SILVER Michael O'Toole
SILVER Mark Charadnik
BRONZE Luke Polmear
BRONZE Nikita Rybalka
BRONZE Elmo Toosey
BRONZE Alistair Muckle
BRONZE Marius Maillefaud
BRONZE Alessio Martinelli
BRONZE Lucas McGivney
We had 4 EJC fighters in the event and all 4 medalled. Sofija won all of her contests to win gold, while Lilia won her first 3 by ippon and then lost the final to take a silver. There was also a silver for Ibrahim who has been on terrific form in the last few weeks, while Damian won a bronze medal at u42kg. Well done to this great little team.
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