CUJC recently sent a team up to the Warwick team competition, as well as entering someone into the Women’s individuals.
Marine boldly decided to try to compete in the advanced women category (2nd kyu and above) rather than the intermediate category (2nd kyu and below); while she didn’t manage to medal, she put up some very spririted fights, and came away with some good competition experience.
The men’s team competition was knockout from the beginning, and their first match was against Imperial. Josh, Rio and Lawrence all won their fights (Rio with a particularly nice turn-over and pin) to win Cambridge the match. Lee then had a very tough fight which went almost the full 5 minutes, and unfortunately ended with a neck injury causing him to pull out of the competition. Greg finished off the match with style, showcasing his speed and agility and winning with a nice ippon.
Next up was a combined Nottingham/Bristol team: Josh kept his opponent on the ground to win with a reverse jujigatame, while Rio showed amazing commitment to his osotogari to come away with a clean ippon. Lawrence again earned Cambridge the match with a nice kouchigari-seoinage combination. Greg fought to the bitter end of a marthon fight, despite several injuries from previous bouts, and was unlucky not to come away with a victory.
With no break in between, we were immediately called back onto the mat to face a strong Edinburgh team. Cambridge entered the match with a bye, as Edinburgh had no -66kg player, and Rio cemented the lead with a well-executed koshi-jimi. Lawrence’s fight lasted a close-fought 5 minutes, but lost out to a very tough judoka. Eduardo too put up a good fight against talented opposition, but eventually conceded to leave the match at 2-2, with Greg’s fight to decide it. Greg pulled off a win in under 20 seconds to win the fight and the match, accumulated injuries notwithstanding, and earning Cambridge a place in the final.
The final was against a very strong Coventry team: Josh was taken to the ground and caught with a very tight strangle, while Rio was thrown and then pinned to leave Cambridge 2-0 behind. Lawrence had yet another long fight, to win by wazari from a pin. Coventry then cleaned up the rest of the fights, with a very strong -90kg player throwing with kouchi-makikomi for ippon and a massive +90kg player countering Greg’s drop seoinage with a strangle.
With everyone coming away with a significant amount of competition experience, and the men’s team securing well-deserved silver medals, this was a great start to the competition season.
Josh Hunt – President