Varsity 2010

The 80th Judo Varsity match took place on 27th February in the fantastic setting of Oxford’s town hall. The atmosphere was, as always, intense and there was an excellent display of Judo from both sides.

2010 Varsity Team

The first match was between the city teams. First up for Cambridge was former CUJC president Archibald Reid, who secured a pin to win the fight by ippon. Next up was Akim Lassissi from our neighbours ARU. He wore his opponent down and eventually held him down for the second ippon. The third fight was eagerly anticipated but Norbert Grof made short work of his opponent, catching him with a drop seio-nage very early in the fight. Ippons also came from Matt Maddison, Doug Heller and Nicolas Antolinos (ARU). Kevin Field and Megan Sorensen fought well but lost to tough opponents. This gave Cambridge a convincing victory of 6 wins to Oxford’s 2.

The Men’s 2nd teams squared off next. Torben Schuettfort and Peter Mann put in good performances but both were overcome by their opponents, with Peter losing on points. John Aldis (Fitz), who started Judo last October, stepped up and produced an outstanding ippon. This was followed by an arm-bar from the team captain, Tobias Schmidutz, to level the match at 2 wins each. After a promising start and some good throws James Coghill (Pembroke) was held down by his opponent. Next up was Silas Davis (Jesus). Silas has a strong ground game and once he got his opponent on the ground he secured the pin. This left the match at 3-3 and a win by ippon from the next two fights would secure the match for Cambridge. Despite having improved tremendously this year Rob Blackburn (Emma) was thrown for ippon. This left the result of the match in the hands of Max Wood (Queens’) who started well by scoring a yuko but was eventually pinned. This gave Oxford the victory by 5 wins to Cambridge’s 3.

Following last year’s Varsity thriller with a narrow defeat in Golden Score after an initial draw, the Cambridge team was keen to finally regain the women’s judo trophy. Marianne Butler (Pembroke) was the first one to step onto the mat, but was unfortunately overpowered by her black-belt opponent. In the following contest Anna Baxter (Robinson) evened out the score for Cambridge again by finishing off her opponent in a hold-down. Cambridge Captain Lisa Kleiminger (Fitzwilliam) was the next one on the mat, but was caught by Oxford’s Captain with a throw early on during her fight leaving the remaining two players under the pressure to win their matches. President Catharina Casper (Corpus Christi) put up a good fight against the strongest Oxford player. Unfortunately, she eventually ended up in a hold-down leading to an early overall win for Oxford. Having nothing to lose Jessica Alsiö (Clare) showed a very good performance against her higher grade opponent before being overpowered in the second half of the fight. This sadly meant that Oxford reclaimed the Women’s Judo trophy for the 8th time in a row now.

The final match was between the men’s 1st teams. Last year the match was decided by a nail biting tie break after each team won four fights by ippon. This year it was expected to be close once again. First up was Mason Edwards (Catz) who picked his +100kg opponent up with a big ura-nage to score waza-ari before being thrown for ippon. The 2nd fight was between two former club presidents, Gary Chandler (Emma) for Cambridge and Ifor Capel for Oxford. After putting up a good fight Gary was eventually thrown for ippon. This was his first loss in a varsity match in eight appearances since 2002. Next up was the Cambridge captain Kane Chandler (Darwin) against the Oxford captain Justin Gregory. Cambridge needed a win to get back into the match and their captain delivered with a smashing ippon to bring the score to 2-1. Robin Irvine (Corpus) showed tremendous courage be stepping up and facing a more experienced Oxford opponent, however he eventually lost by ippon. Philipp Oberhumer (Queens’) fought Andrew Stewart for the second year running and, after initially conceding a throw, arm-locked his opponent for victory. James Maheswaran (Queens’) fought a close fight and near the end of the bout pulled off a strangle to claim the win. Clearly exhausted he showed tremendous spirit to finish the fight in that fashion. Jorg Klein made his long awaited début at a varsity match but after a promising start lost his fight. With the score 4-3 to Oxford Cambridge’s Xiong Chang (Trinity) needed to win by ippon. The talented Xiong was on form and caught his opponent with a beautiful ko-soto-gari to bring the match to a tie. As all fights were won by ippon it was decided to draw 3 out of a hat to fight again. The three fighters selected were Mason, Gary and James. They went out and gave their all however in the end Oxford emerged triumphant and took home the Judo Challenge Cup.

Despite winning only one of the three matches all the Cambridge team fought incredibly well and should be pleased with their performance. There is no shame losing to a strong, dedicated opponent and Oxford are exactly that.

– Kane Chandler, Men’s Captain
– Lisa Kleiminger, Women’s Captain