3 golds, 3 silvers, and a bronze.
From back left: Paulo, Megan, Abbie, Joshua,
Madeline, Liang, Rob, Andrew
After a horrendously early start, the girls were on the mat straight away. Abbie Lawerence, fighting in the 2nd and 3rd Kyu category, won her first fight with ease; scoring two waza-ari to give her the win. In her next fight, she managed to get herself disqualified, probably due to the fact that she had only been told that morning that leg grabs are now illegal. Due to weight group merges, Abbie walked away with gold. Next up, was Madeline Ang who was fighting in the U20s novice to 4th Kyu group. She followed up a Tani-Otoshi into a hold down to give her the win in her first fight. This was followed by an ippon-scoring O-Soto-Gari that won her second fight, and therefore the gold. To finish up for the girls, Megan Sorensen was next up in the 1st Kyu and above. Unfortunately, she got caught by a counter in her first fight, but came back fighting and managed to survive a long 5 minute contest while holding onto a waza-ari. The next opponent was dealt with much more swiftly, but then in her 4th fight she got held down. Overall, Megan won bronze in her group and started speaking in the third person.
Next up, fighting in the novice to 4th kyu were Josh Falconer-Roberts and Paulo Days. Paulo lost both his fights to far more experienced players, but gained valuable experience. Josh pulled out a lovely Tomoe-Nage in his first fight that put him in the lead before his opponent was then disqualified for a leg grab. He then won his second fight decisively with a lovely kan-kan Uchi-Mata that buried his opponent. The third fight was a tough one, and unfortunately Josh lost to a well-executed Uchi-Mata. Josh came away with a well-deserved silver, and hopefully a taste for competitions.
Finally, the 3rd and 2nd Kyu men began fighting. In his first fight Rob Blackburn won by ippon from a Maki-Komi. In his next fight, Rob faced fellow CUJC member Andrew Tam. The fight lasted a while with both players knowing what to expect. In the end, Rob scored a waza-ari with a Maki-Komi and Andrew collected a sufficient number of penalties to give Rob a win by ippon. In his last fight, Rob came back from being a waza-ari down, and scored by 2 waza-ari. This won him the gold, despite moving up a weight category. Andrew Tam, meanwhile in his classic fashion pulled off his signature drop Seoi-Nage in both his first and third fight to give him the silver. Liang started off by scoring 2 waza-ari in the first fight from a Maki-Komi and an O-Soto-Otoshi. His second fight was much tougher, and after a contest that seemed like it could go either way, Liang’s opponent eventually took the win. In his final fight Liang was pretty tired and scared the rest of us by taking his time when escaping from an arm lock. He then, however, scored two further waza-ari to claim the silver.
All in all it was a great start to this year’s competition season, and hopefully the medals will continue to pile up. Check out photos from the day in the gallery.
Megan Sørensen – President