This year’s BUCS championships in Judo were held on the 13th and 14th of March in Sheffield. Due to injuries earlier on this year only six players could enter: Jessica Alsiö, Anna Baxter, Catharina Casper, Lisa Kleiminger, Tobias Schmidutz and Kane Chandler.
Jessica was first on Saturday morning. Due to low numbers of competitors Jessica’s U52 Kyu grade division was pooled together with the U48 Kyu grades. However, this didn’t hindered Jess in successfully defending her last year’s gold medal. Her first U52 opponent had no chance against her groundwork skills and subsequently had to submit after being strangled. The second fight Jessica won by throwing her opponent for Ippon. Having by now already secured the first place in the U52 category Jessica went on to defeat the U48s as well, both times with strangles in groundwork.
Next on were Catharina and Lisa both fighting in the U57 – 1st Kyu/Dan grade division this year. After losing her first fight Catharina managed to come back winning her next two fights placing her second in her pool. Lisa had less luck, despite putting up good fights against her higher graded opponents she was eventually thrown and subsequently missed out on the quarter-finals. After a long break, Catharina stepped onto the mat for her quarter-final against Rebecca Bayliss from Oxford. Unfortunately, Catharina lost on penalty points after the regular fighting time was over. As her opponent went on to win the U57 category Catharina qualified for repechage and subsequently managed to secure a bronze medal.
After waiting hours for her first fight Anna (U78 – 1st Kyu/Dan grades) had an unlucky start into the competition loosing against an England Squad player she knew from previous judo competition. In the following contest she fought well. However, after the regular fighting time was over the scores were equal and the contest was continued under golden score conditions. Anna managed to throw her opponent for Ippon with Uchi-mata, securing her the silver medal.
Tobias (U73 – 1st Kyu/Dan grades) was first up against Nicholas Antolinos from Anglian Ruskin. Unfortunately, he was thrown for an Ippon. He lost his next fight in less in seven seconds, but then went on to win his next contest in an even shorter time of six seconds. Due to Nicholas having won against everybody in that pool and the remaining three players having one win each their fights were refought. Tobias, having learnt from his mistakes he made earlier, managed to win both his fights this time and hence qualified for the knock-out stage. Unfortunately, he had to pull out half-way through his first fight in the next round due to a knee-injury from an earlier fight that morning.
Kane Chandler (U81 – 1st Kyu/Dan grades) first fought against a player from Imperial College. He dominated his opponent and threw him twice for Waza-ari winning this match. He won against his next opponent by a strangle. His final pool match was against world-cup finalist Tom Reed (Bath University) and despite putting up a good fight Kane was eventually thrown for Ippon. In the round of last 16 he dominated his opponent but was unfortunately caught by a throw.
The next day, the Cambridge Women’s Team consisting of Anna, Catharina and Lisa were less fortunate. They were pooled together with Bath, Oxford and Imperial College. Their first match was against Imperial College, which was won 2.5 – 0.5 with wins from Anna and Catharina, while Lisa had a draw because of equal scores after the regular time. Against Oxford’s lightweight Rebecca Bayliss Lisa fought well, but had to submit to an armlock. Catharina’s and Anna’s fights were close and both only narrowly lost on points. This meant that to make it through to the knock-out phase they had to win against Bath. And despite fighting fiercely they lost against a team fielding much heavier opponents, which meant that Cambridge finished 3rd out of 4 in the pool and missed out on the semi-finals.
Due to not fielding a Men’s Team this year Kane entered the regional competition with a team combining competitors from Eastern Area Universities including Oxford, London and Cambridge. Kane threw his first opponent from the Southwest-region within half a minute. In the next fight he faced his “round-of-16” opponent from yesterday. After throwing him for Waza-ari with an Ura-nage he finished him off with an armlock. In his final match he dominated his opponent from Scotland gaining a Waza-ari before holding him down for Ippon. Despite Kane’s three wins the overall Eastern Region team did not performed that well.
– Lisa Kleiminger, Women’s Captain
Check out pictures from the BUCS Championships in the gallery