Showgo began his year in the best way possible by becoming British Champion. We had the most mixed weekend ever, with very up ups and very down downs, but nothing can be taken away from this lad who fought his heart out.
There was an emotional silver for Eliot. This is Eliot's 4th National medal from finals and he should be very proud of his performance. There was also a 5th place from Blake Inniss and 7th place for Mason and Ali.
Well done also to Erik, Ibrahim, Omar, Blixa, Little Blake & Dan V for their great team-work this weekend.
EJC had a very good weekend in Sheffield, despite the snowy, slightly scary drive up there! On Saturday our Juniors fought well with Harkirat and Lucy winning bronze medals and with Nekoda winning gold. Luke was on great form and looking good in all contests. He was unlucky not to progress further but did a great job nonetheless. Dan & Julia really pushed themselves but couldn't find their best form, even though their preparation had been strong.
Four members qualified for the senior event on Sunday, all 4 having fought on the Saturday too. Harkirat was in a challenging situation with only two contests ahead of her, but both against current members of the GB Senior team. Harkirat really enjoyed her judo and put in a positive performance, but no medal this time.
Julia fought one of her best day's of judo ever, with a great attitude and some impressive effort and technique. Despite beating a seasoned player in the early rounds she just missed out on the podium. Julia looks like she is ready for a big year ahead.
Lucy had a very challenging day and picked up a niggly injury early on in the pool. She dug in hard however and pulled off a bronze medal. Although this is her 11th national medal, it is her first at the British Senior CHampionships and so we all congratulate her on taking this important step.
Nekoda also had a good day. Sore from the previous day of fighting she had the biggest challenge of her competitive life standing in front of her in the first round of pools, in the shape of Sophie Cox, two time Olympian and all round great judoka. Sophie was to be Nekoda's 4th contest. The first 3 contests, although not easy, all went in Nekoda's favour by ippon. Sophie wasa whole different level and presented new situations throughout the tough contest. It was backwards and forwards between the two through normal time and then through golden score. At the end of it all the referees gave Nekoda the decision 2-1 and she went into the final pool as number 1. There she beat Hayward and only had Ramsey in front of her for the gold. However, Ramsey's strong style of gripping proved just a step too far and Nekoda lost this contest on penalties and this left her in bronze medal position after the totting up of points was done. This is Nekoda's first Senior national medal too and she fought amazingly well.
Congratulations to all EJC fighters who have put in such a great effort in the lead up to this hard two weeks of fighting. They have all been a credit to themselves and to the club and we are very proud of each of them.
Below: Lucy & Nekoda with their British Senior Championships medals.
Harkirat won gold today at u48, Julia won gold at u57 and Sammie won gold at u78. Daniel Woodhouse placed 7th in his first senior ranking event, after winning his pool with some excellent sttrategy. Luke placed 5th, after winning his pool and his quarter final. The whole team deserves great praise for their efforts this weekend. Well done all.
Coaches Nadia and Ndu took 5 EJC fighters up to Walsall for this well attended tournament. Well done to Big Blake for winning a bronze medal at this nationally recognised event. Ali placed 5th after some good ippon judo. Dan Vary, Chris and Ibrahim fought a good fight but with no result.
This notorious event did not disappoint as once again there were Japanese and Cuban teams and for the first time since I have been attending there was also a Brazilian team. With all of these strong judo nations present as well as huge numbers from France and Germany this promised to be an explosive weekend.
Below: the warm up time for Sunday's senior event.
Harkirat and Julia fought in the Junior events on Saturday and the Senior events on Sunday, with Julia putting in a particularly strong performance against the Japanese competitor in the Senior competition. They put in some outstanding judo and were professionals in every sense. Neither came out of their pools, but still had a positive tournament. Nekoda won her pool on Junior day (travelling under the GBR banner) with some strong gripping and ippon throws. In the knockout she won her first contest, against a German fighter, and then stood toe to toe with the current Junior European silver medalist from France. Nekoda went a score ahead but was countered for ippon later in the fight. The French girl then lost to the Japanese competitor and this put Nekoda out.
Above: Harkirat Sekhon (EJC), Nekoda Davis (EJC), Becky Livesey (SKK), Hayley Willis (Stratford) & Julia Scardone (EJC) - Team spirit
On Day 2 Sammie fought at u78kg and put in one of her gutsiest perfromances to date in what is arguably one of the most challenging women's tournaments in the world. She didn't make it out of the pool but is now better prepared for her next international outing. Nekoda came out of her pool as number 2, after a minor slip against a French opponent. That gave her an unfortunate draw in the knockout, facing domestiv rival Sophie Cox. In a reversal of the result from the British Championships Sophie won in golden score and despite two great wins against the Canadian and Cuban couldn't pass the Japanese and that loss put Nekoda out.
Charlotte was last on and fought excellently. The Whitburn/Ealing fighter really opened up in her second match and threw her French opponent for ippon. In the knockout Charlotte beat another French fighter, who had previously beaten her, and progressed further, to face another old rival from the Netherlands. Despite taking a loss here that put her out Charlotte had a great day.
Well done to all our girls - Arlon is a real call to arms and our team did a fantastic job and should be proud of themselves.
We had a very positive day at High Wycombe Judo Centre, with a handful of medals and some excellent performances. We saw a return to the mat after 3 years for Demi Smith, who fought well and will be looking to medal at future ranking events.
Luke had an awesome day and at the age of only 17 won 4 tough contests, only dropping the one. He won a bronze medal and offered my favourite throw of the day. Luke will add m ore points to his national senior ranking and also earned more points towards his 2nd Dan. There was good news for our friend Charlotte (Whitburn) who won every contest, to take a comfortable gold.
Becca fought in a different weight group from usual and wasn't able to notch up a result there. Julia placed 5th. Sammie & Lucy each put in some solid work and came away with silver medals.
In the Masters section Sam P won a silver, while Van won a gold. Van also completed his points for his 2nd Dan.
Three of the Mighties made the trip to St Helen's. We had Daniel Vary in the Cadet section, who performed well, worked hard and was rewarded with a bronze medal. In fact our 2 Pre-Cadets, Showgo and Erik, had the same M.O, with an excellent work ethic and some very positive performances. The uniformity continued with each of the lads picking up a bronze medal.
This was Nekoda's first selection for a senior world ranking tournament and the first for any EJC member, making it a very special event indeed. Nekoda performed exceptionally well, really stepping up her game for the occasion.
She beat the home girl, Zeltner, who had beaten Nekoda last year, by ippon - a very satisfying win, especially as Zeltner holds a Junior World bronze and an u23 European medal. The Canadian athlete had to feel the next ippon and that put Koda into the last 8. There she met Serbian Rogic, former u23 European Champion. She couldn't claw back the waza-ari she got caught for early on. Dropping into the repercharge she had to face Quadros of Brazil, 2008 Olympic bronze medal winner. Nekoda threw her for waza-ari at the beginning of the contest, but the experienced elite opponent answerd it with an ippon throw, leaving Nekoda in a very credible 7th place.
Nekoda is now on the senior world ranking list, still only a teenager, and is fast getting herself known on the international circuit. Congratulations from everyone at home.
Julia contended the u57kg Dan grade section for UEL, while Charlotte fought in the u63 Dan grade group for Kingston University. Each girl won a bronze medal, with each winning a total of 4 contests and only dropping the one result. Charlotte lost on a penalty to formaer Olympian Chloe Cowen. Lots of ippon judo came from both of these athletes, so smiles all round!!
We had a great day in Worthing, as always. It was a smooth, athlete-centred event, with friendly officials and a good atmosphere.
In the lower grade sections we had Pierre Powell, Dan Shaw, Julia Parissien and Yasmine Mansouri all competing for the first time. All put in great performances, with Pierre winning a silver medal and all others taking bronzes. Also in this section was Martin Maybank, who won a bronze too.
In the higher Kyu grade category Hanna fought with real heart and came away with a well-earned bronze medal, after a superb win by strangle in the early rounds. Remi also did a good job to win a bronze in his group.
In the points scoring sections Demi and Phoebe both showed some excellent ippon judo to come away with a gold and a bronze respectively, while Luke fought as the youngest by far in his senior group - the only teenager in the weight. He showed his determination and how important fitness is, winning two of his 4 contests by hantei and the others by ippon. Luke won the gold! Demi, Phoebe and Luke all won Dan grade points too, which is always a pleasant bonus.
Above: most of the mighties in Worthing today.
GOLD Maddie Birri
GOLD Luke Davies
GOLD Sasha Derkach
GOLD Emma Martinelli
GOLD Alessio Martinelli
SILVER Elmo Toosey
SILVER Sumire Akamatsu-Carey
SILVER Francesca Birri
SILVER Peter Davies
SILVER Albie Toosey
SILVER Alistair Muckle
SILVER Paige Bartlett
SILVER Ayami Doisaki
SILVER Evan Spencer
BRONZE Yuiko Morita
BRONZE Samuel Spencer
BRONZE Jamie McLaughlin
BRONZE Ellis Davies
BRONZE Caoimhe Earles
BRONZE Towako Morita
The 20 tiny mighties above fought with great skill and all with huge smiles too. There was a special award given to Yuiko for 'Spirit of Judo'; she was nick-named the pocket rocket by spectators! Peter was awrded a trophy for best boy aged 5-8, while Maddie received the award for best girl aged 5-8. This was an excellent training experience for our tiniest members, all of whom are now a little wiser about the objectives of our great sport.
We had 3 EJC representatives at High Wycombe today, competing for their school, Merchant Taylors. All 3 boys gave a positive account of themselves, with David Sookias winning gold, Ali Abdelaal winning silver and Ibrahim Abdelaal winning a great bronze medal. Good work boys.
Our two girls had an excellent day in Kidderminster. Sofija won all 3 of her contests by ippon to take a gold medal in the u40/44kg group. Sam then fought in both her own group and the Open, winning a bronze in the former and a silver in the latter. She had a total of 8 contests and won 30 points towards her Dan grade to boot. Congratulations to both of these ladies - it was a great day for both.
Our first 4 tiny mighties up today each won silver medals after very strong perfromances in tough, well matched groups. Well done to Megan, Hollie, Paige and Nikita. There were also bronze medals for Lucas, Sammy, Kacper and Kyle, with this being Kyle's debut. All gave it their best and learned lots.
Luke Davies was competing quite late in the day and had a challenging line up to face. He won his first two contests with huge throws, but lost his 3rd. Fortunately the pool was all tied up with three of the boys, including Luke, having 2 wins and twenty points. This meant a re-fight and in this Luke came out on top, to take gold.
Thanks to all of the parents who came along today - it was a very positive event and their continued support and enthusiasm is much appreciated.
Luke on the rostrum, having received his gold from Olympian Winston Gordon.
Coach Ndu took Blixa, Hanna and Erik to compete in this age banded tournament. Blixa won gold in the Cadet u55kg section, while Hanna picked up a silver medal in the Junior u70kg group. Erik also fought well, winning 3 of his 4 contests, to earn a very worthy silver in the Pre-Cadet u55kg category. Well done to the whole team.
Dan Vary was put forward for this well attended event by his high school and with coach John at his side he didn't disappoint, winning a silver medal
Four of our tiny mighties gathered in the EJC car park on Friday morning, ready to hit the continent. Two of the 4, Megan and Paige were to make their debut out of England and were therefore very excited. Luke and Tohgo completed the line-up. The team were spirited and united throughout the trip and cheered each other on to four great medals: golds for Tohgo and Megan, a silver for Luke D and a bronze medal for young Paige. The head referee on the day also gave coach Jo a medal for good coaching, which was a friendly and welcome gesture.
Our 3 Juniors had a slower day than expected, but a ray of sunshine came with a bronze medal from Harkirat at u48kg. In the Senior section everyone's spirits seemed to lift. Julia fought excellently to place 5th, just losing out for the bronze. Harkirat won her 2nd bronze of the event, beaten to silver by team-mate, Demi. In a high quality field Sammie gave a good account of herself, despite not taking a medal. Charlotte fought very well, also placing 5th at the end of the u63kg event.
Three of our Juniors and one of our newer Seniors made the flight to the Mediterranean island of Malta. We were lucky to land as high winds had prevented some planes from landing earlier in the day, but with a little luck we made it - an interesting descent!
Luke had arguably the toughest day, having Marco Maddaloni in his group, twice u23 European Champion. The obvious quality of the u73s did not put Luke off, with him pulling out all the stops to win a bronze medal. Our 3 girls each won gold in their categories, so well done to Harkirat, Julia and Sammie for that. It was especially pleasing to watch Harkirat dispatch the two athletes from Hong Kong, by ippon.
Julia then elected to fight up in the next category and there won a silver, only losing to double Olympian Marcon Bezzina. Julia went ahead with a yuko throw early on, but was caught on the ground. Harkirat and Julia then participated in the light open, winning a bronze and a gold respectively. Sammie took silver in the heavy open and in the men's open Luke won a second bronze.
The whole team fought excellently and were pleased with their own performances. At the end of the event we topped the medal table, beating the Hong Kong team and the Italian giants Carbinieri.
SILVER Omar Mansouri
BRONZE Sofija Bojat
This is a notoriously tough event for red belts. Not every competitior gets a medal, no free rides! However, our little gnag of tiny mighties put in an impressive performance, led by their work ethic, which was outstanding for such young judoka.
Eight year old Luke Davies had a bye in the first round and then took a win by ippon in round two, to put him in the semi final. There he lost to the eventual winner, but Luke did not let the loss disturb his concentration. He won the bronze medal match in 5 seconds with a huge ippon throw, followed by a big grin.
Eight year old Paige Bartlett, new to the red belt scene, put in her best performance to date, winning all 3 of her contests by ippon, with a mixture of tachi-waza and ne-waza. She waqs very happy with her gold medal. Her result was matched by 9 year old team-mate, Sasha Derkach as he won the final in the boys heavyweight division.
Five of our tiniest mighties travelled to Windsor for this very friendly event. All 5 fought well and learned lots, with Ellis, Jamie & Isabelle all winning bronze. Tam and Peter won all of their contests to take gold medals. For Tam and Isabelle it was their first competitive experience and they loved it! Ellis chalked up his first ever win and was very happy to have done so. Well done to this happy little group of future champions.
Nekoda Davis, British Judo's Junior player of 2012, flew to Bosnia with the British Team with the target of earning a few more European ranking points, her current ranking being #7. Of the 21 competitiors in the group, Nekoda had a bye in the first round. She then won by ippon against Kropf of Slovenia, took a waza-ari from Germany's Brandt and was then in the semi final against Tchopp of Switzerland. Nekoda went down by a shido early in the contest, but picked up the pace and came back with a yuko throw with only 15 seconds on the clock. With Nekoda in the final all eyes were on the other semi and the victor was British rival and double Olympian Sophie Cox. Nekoda approached the final with maturity and with some keen gripping threw Cox for ippon to win the gold.
This is a huge win for Nekoda, still just 19 years old, and moves her up to 3rd on the Senior European ranking list. Congratulations from everyone at home.
Above: Nekoda in the final with Sophie Cox.
We had an excellent day at the Sportif, with almost all team members winning medals and absolutely everyone performing well. A-bander Tohgo was first up with some superb ippon judo in the early rounds. He was stopped at the semi-final stage, but fought excellently in his bronze medal contest to take the medal. Many of the international coaches commented on Tohgo's skill and attitude, which was a great compliment for him.
In the Pre-Cadet categories we had Hollie, Showgo and Mason all hunting for prizes. Mason put in a particularly gutsy performance, considering he was fighting a pretty evil flu the whole weekend. Several good wins and just the one loss gave him a bronze, while his two club-mates picked up superb silvers.
Dan Vary was our lone ranger in the Cadet group and he won a bronze medal. The Juniors were then on call. In the tough u73kg group Luke saw off the Dutch and French opponents, before suffering a loss against a strong Scot. In the bronze medal match the Danish competitor scraped a win in golden score to leave Luke in a very credible 5th place. Harkirat took silver at u48s and then fought some extra matches in the weight above, gaining valuable mat time.
Julia had one of her best competition days to date, keeping her head while opponents struggled with manners. She fought strongly in the early rounds, beating two of the French girls from the regional centre in Dijon along the way, quality players, not to be underestimated. Julia then lost in the final, but her silver medal was definitely one to be proud of.
GOLD Isabelle Bartlett
GOLD Jamie McLaughlin
GOLD Yuiko Morita
GOLD Ellis Davies
GOLD Hollie Walmsley
GOLD Ayami Doisaki
GOLD Sasha Derkach
SILVER David Klavs
SILVER Luke Davies
SILVER Peter Davies
SILVER Kanoko Morita
BRONZE Megan Walmsley
BRONZE Sumire Akamatsu-Carey
BRONZE Towako Morita
BRONZE Paige Bartlett
Ayami & Isabelle won outstanding performance awards too!
Sofija fought at this large, well attended Serbian event and won 3 contests in a row by ippon to earn herself a gold medal.
Our Tiny Mighties were in fine form today in Belgium. It was young Sasha's first time fighting out of Great Britain and he put in an excellent performance, winning 3 contests in a row by ippon to take gold.
Below: Sasha with his new yellow belt, waiting to fight in Lommel.
Paige, gaining experience fast, fought with great determination and won her second international bronze medal in as many months. Little Megan, the last in this young age band, like Sasha, won every contest by ippon, her expertise in ne-waza though. She won gold and was very happy with her own perfromance. Tohgo fought excellently too, pulling off a string of ippon throws to win gold in the older age band.
L-R: Sasha, Megan, Tohgo & Paige
We had a great day at Samurai. In the Novice to Orange belt section Pierre and Cedric were looking for some experience. Both fought well and learned lots, despite not winning the medals this time.
Our brown belt and below crew were on fine form, however, with all of them winning medals, but more importantly, all of them putting in a superb amount of effort to do so. Phoebe won the gold in the u52kg group and then fought up in the u57 category for extra points-scoring opportunities. She won a silver there adn left herself needing just 16 points for her Dan grade. Sammie fought hard in 4 contests and won a bronze for her trouble. Jenny blasted her way through 4 rounds, winning each by ippon to win her first 40 points and an excellent gold. Dan Vary matched Jenny's results, also taking 4 ippon wins and a gold, although only ten points were available - his first ten.
Hillingdon JCs Jess Gordon-Brown, traveling with us today, fought hard in Phoebe's group and won a bronze medal too. With a good day under our belts we prapared to leave, when an open weight was announced. Phoebe volunteered for the women's group, hoping for the chance to win her final points. She wasn't disappointed, winning 17 more points, another gold medal and her Dan grade. What a day!
Today's group congratulating Phoebe.
Lots of the Mighties have been training hard in preparation for this event and their work was apparent in their excellent performances. On the first day Luke B, Harkirat, Julia and Nekoda all doubled up, fighting in both the Junior and Senior events. Here Luke placed 7th in the Juniors but was unfortunately eliminated from the Senior group. Julia fought extremely well and won bronzes at both, while Harkirat also had a good day, winning silver at both. Nekoda had a tough day, struggling to find form, but eventually did so adn pulled off a double gold.
Hanna placed 5th in the Juniors too, while Charlott took the same placing in the Seniors. Sammie won bronze in the Senior section, fighting one of her most positive days to date. In the Masters event John Hough was outstanding throwing every opponent for ippon. He won gold and also 20 points towards his 3rd Dan.
On Day 2 our youngsters were also hard at it, gaining great results at every turn. Omar placed 7th in the Cadet age band, while Sofija won the gold in the A Band. Showgo maintained his position as GB number 1, winning his weight group convincingly. Mason fought very well and won a silver for his efforts adn Ali put in a couple of stunning throws to win his bronze medal. Well done to the whole team.
Above: Nekoda hits the younger Mighties with an elite warm-up at the beginning of Day 2.
Above: Nekoda preparing to compete at her first Senior European Championships.
Nekoda was selected just two weeks prior to the Europeans, having won the gold medal at the Bosnia European Cup in March. It was an enormous achievement to be selected at the tender age of only 19.
In Budapest Nekoda faced Barkeling of Sweden in the first round, having already beaten her at the Swedish European Cup in October of last year. It was a hard fought contest but with Nekoda winning convincingly, to take her into a second round match against Rogic of Serbia, ranked 11 in the World. Nekoda was thrown for an early yuko and despite dominating Rogic for the rest of the contest, to the tune of 3 shidos, couldn't pulkl back the positive score. This loss marked Nekoda's exit from the event, however, her performance was outstanding and this event has given her invaluable experience with which to inform the rest of the year's planning and training. Congratulations to Nekoda from everyone at EJC.
Below: Nekoda with Jo & long time EJC friend Ashley McKenzie, after Ashley won a bronze medal at the event.
Well done to the whole team today. There was lots of good judo and a good team spirit. There were gold medals for Sofija and Dan Vary, a silver for Mason and bronzes for Hollie, Chris, Erik, Hanna and Luke B. Omar missed out narrowly, despite beatng a former national champion in his pool.
Above: Dan with his gold medal in Peterborough.
Three EJC Mighties travelled on a self-funded basis to this tough European ranking event and for all it was their debut at this level. Young Harkirat fought brilliantly at u48kg, taking a bye in round 1, a loss to a Russian fighter in round 2 and then dropping into the repercharge. There she beat two Lithuanian girls by ippon to climb into the bronze medal match, against a strong home girl. Harkirat lost the bronze fight and finished in 5th place.
Above: Harkirat winning the repercharge final in Kaunas.
Julia fought very well, losing to a Belarussian athlete in the first round, almost at full time. She was pulled back into the reperacharge but then lost to a Lithuanian athlete. This ended Julia's first Junior European Cup.
Lucy fought on day 2 of the event, in the over 78kg category, which was rich with Russians and Belarussians. Despite the natrual nerves Lucy was not put off and opened her campaign with a win over a home girl, by ippon in ne-waza. A loss then came against a Russian, in the quarter final, leaving Lucy needing two wins for a bronze medal. She threw her opponent for ippon in seconds to win the repercharge final and two waza-aris in her last contest was enough to secure the bronze medal and some valuable European ranking points.
EJC had our best ever weekend at the British Open, with young Nekoda Davis winning a bronze medal at u57kg and even younger Harkirat Sekhon placing 7th at u48kg. Julia, Charlotte, Sammie and Lucy all fought at this event but were unsuccessful this time.
Above: Nekoda throws Inglis for waza-ari on the way to winning bronze.
Michael O'Toole came along for his first tournament in several months and he put in a good performance and finished just outside of the medals. Ibrahim and Chris both fought well and each was rewarded with a bronze medal, while Erik and Sofija went one better with silvers in their respectivge groups. Tiny Mighty Megan won gold in her category, as did little Luke D (pictured below).
Nekoda opened her 2013 international campaign with a win over Prymak of Ukraine and then another over Kasyanova of Russia, before taking Zhuravleva out in the last 8 to make it into the semi-final. There Nekoda beat Ilkiv of the Ukraine, to move neatly into the final. There waited Mezhetskaia of Russia, number 5 on the Junior European ranking list. Nekoda put in an impressive display, throwing the Russian for ippon in the 2nd exchange. This flew Nekoda back to the top of the ranking list. Great work!
Three of yesterdays team stepped out again today, to make it a double-header weekend. Little Luke won a silver in a tough group of u27kg boys, while Megan repeated her gold medal winning perfromance. Ibrahim went one better than yesterday and took a silver medal.
Fifteen year old Kyle fought at this level for the first time, having only fought in red belt events before. He did a great job and after 4 tough rounds won himself a bronze medal. Sasha was our last fighter of the day and he also put in a good day's work to win himself a gold medal, his 4th of the year so far. Well done to the whole team.
Harkirat and Julia travelled with the England Squad, with Jo also present as England support coach for the weekend. Both girls fought very well, although Harkirat was really up against it, drawing the number 1 seed in round one, Diogo of Portugal. Harkirat lost at the end of a tight fight, but then Diogo lost too, putting our girl out. Julia lost her first contest to a rangey Italian, but was pulled back into the repercharge, where she disposed of a German opponent to make it into the repercharge final. Here Julia lost but was placed 7th - her first placing at this level.
Nekoda was selected to represent Great Britain for only her 2nd event at this level. She put in a stellar performance, beating Elizarova of Russia, Amaris of Colombia and Minagawa of Israel, before losing to France's Receveaux in the semi-final. In the bronze medal match Nekoda was to oppose British team-mate Connie Ramsay. This was a tough draw for both girls, but Nekoda came out of top with a dominent gripping strategy. This gave Nekoda her first Continental Open medal and 40 valuable World Ranking points, to skip her up to 71st place. Nekoda's steady climb up the world rankings is impressive and a testament to her work ethic.
Above: Nekoda with her huge medal at the Caja Magica Arena in Madrid.
Following her excellent result in Madrid last week, Nekoda was on the road again this week, to neighbouring Portugal. The draw was against her with both the number 4 and number 6 ranked players in the world in attendance. However, Nekoda worked hard and fought with great spirit to win against Santos of Portugal and Ohai of Romania in the early rounds. The win against Ohai was particularly meaningful as it was Ohai who stopped Nekoda in the final of the Serbian Open in October.
Nekoda then lost to Carla Grol of the Netherlands in the quarter final and dropped into the repercharge. There she beat the experienced Tremblay of Canada to get into the bronze medal match, against Rogic of Serbia, who knocked Nekoda out of the European Championships in Budapest in April. Rogic worked hard to cancel out Nekoda's judo but our girl stayed true to her own style and eventually caught her opponent with the huge osoto-gari for ippon (seen above), to win the bronze.
Above: Nekoda on the rostrum in Lisbon.
We had a great weekend in Venray. It was a massive event with over 1400 competitors from 27 countries over two days. Harkirat and Mason travelled over with the England Squad, while little Luke, Megan, Sofija, Ammi, Paige and Tohgo travelled with EJC.
Top left: Ivan & Marija at the Teppanyaki restaurant in Waalwijk. Top right: Luke, Megan, Tohgo & Ammi outside the hotel in Waalwijk. Bottom left: Luke's bronze medal match under the spotlights. Bottom right: Ammi on the rostrum with her huge bronze medal.
Young Paige had to withdraw from the competition due to illness, which was a great shame, but she has vowed to be fit and well for next year's event! In the same age band little Luke Davies, a youngster in his group, fought excellently, beating 4 opponents, from Holland, Israel and Latvia, by ippon. He lost to 2 Belgian boys, but all those wins meant Luke only just missed out on a medal, placing 5th. This is a great result for him.
Tohgo, one of the youngest in his group, won his first 2 contests by ippon, before losing two. He was outside of the placings, but is looking good for next year. Mason, competing with the England team, won 4 tough fights, all by ippon, but lost just outside of the placings and only by referee's decision. It was a strong perfromance, especially as it was his first time in his new weight group.
Tiny Megan doesn't often get such ferocious opponents in the UK, so her trip was a real eye opener. Megan finished a little outside the medals, in 7th place, but really enjoyed fighting as is looking forward to her next continental outing. In the same age band Ealing newcomer Ammi Takahashi put in a hardy perfromance. Despite losing her first contest by shido against the eventual gold medalist, Ammi dug in and won 5 contests in a row in the repecharge to claim an outstanding bronze medal. This was her debut on the continent and so this is a very special medal for her.
Then, in the same age band as Tohgo, and also being the youngest of the young in the group, Sofija battled with great heart at u40kg. She won two and lost two and this placed her 7th, a very positive result. Then on day 2 another of our hard working squad members took to the mat in both the Junior and Senior events. Harkirat is an experienced young athlete, but found the lack of opponents disappointing. However those present wwere of a high standard and this gave Harkirat two silver medals for her trouble.
Very well done to the whole team. Gaining placings at Venray as a bit of a rite of passage so it is great to see everyone on track for strong futures at Dutch events.
EJC took a good haul of medals in Worthing. Martin Maybank missed out but learned lots while fighting in the Novice to orange belt section. Also in this category Pierre Powell won a bronze medal.
In the high grade ranking section there was a bronze medal from Phoebe and silver medals from Luke Balfre, Charlotte, Jenny and Sammie. Charlotte was winning her final before having to withdraw due to injury. We wish her a speedy recovery. Jenny and Sammie can be seen in the photo above.
Under 8 Training Morning
GOLD Yuiko Morita
GOLD Caoimhe Earles
GOLD Peter Davies
SILVER Isabelle Bartlett
SILVER Poppy Love
BRONZE Ellis Davies
BRONZE Jamie McLaughlin
GOLD Erlana Durand-Henry
SILVER Charlotte Carling
SILVER Paige Bartlett
SILVER Alessio Martinelli
SILVER Sammy Amin
BRONZE Kanoko Morita
BRONZE Mario Moore
Above: the under 12s.
Below front L-R: Miri, Sasha, Megan, Hollie & Paige.
Below back L-R: Dan, Sammie, Chris, John, Little Luke and Jenny.
Junior Red and Yellow Belts
GOLD Megan Walmsley
GOLD Sasha Derkach
BRONZE Miri Tchiprout
BRONZE Luke Davies
BRONZE Paige Bartlett
Junior Orange Belts and Above
GOLD Hollie Walmsley
GOLD Christopher Corrigan
SILVER John Hough
SILVER Dan Vary
SILVER Sammie Grant
BRONZE Jenny Costen
As well as some great fights and some lovely medals the EJC crew also came away with 3 new Dan Grades! What a day! Jenny and Sammie completed the points they needed to earn their 1st Dans. Then Daniel Vary entered the Eastern Area grading, immediately after the competition, and completed his line-up. He has to wait until September to have his new grade ratified as he hasn't held his brown belt for long enough yet. Well done to this great group of Mighties!
We had members competing for the London Boroughs of Ealing, Brent and Hounslow and all gave good accounts of themselves.
For Brent Hollie Walmsley won a bronze medal, while for Hounslow, Omar placed 7th. The Ealing Team placed 5th overall in the boys section and 12th overall in the girls section. There were gold medals for Showgo Kimura and Dan Vary, silvers for Chris Corrigan and Hanna Toogood, while Remi picked up a bronze. Damian and Erik each placed 5th. Well done to Patrick, Kyle and Ibrahim who all fought well, but without placing this time.
We had our best ever weekend at the Kent International. It is a well attended and notoriously tough competition but all of the Ealing Mighties gave of their best and came away with medals and valuable experience. Well done to all who fought.
SILVER Kyle Fernandez
BRONZE Megan Walmsley
Orange - Green Belts
GOLD Ammi Takahashi
SILVER Tohgo Kimura
BRONZE Cameron Harvey
5th place Hollie Walmsley
5th place Omar Mansouri
7th place Ibrahim Abdelaal
Blue - Brown Belts
SILVER Mason Gulaidi-Barber
5th place Showgo Kimura
5th place Dan Vary
SILVER Jenny Costen
BRONZE Julia Scardone
BRONZE Sammie Grant
5th place Scott Turner
Well done to Damian (green belt), Erik (blue belt) & Remi (Youth) who fought well in new weight groups but without placing this time.
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