Easter Area Open – 3 Star Ranking Tournament

Following on from the juniors on the Saturday Thetford welcomed a host of senior Judoka to compete for honours as well as ranking points.

Cambridge University took 4 players today. With the girls being given the honour of starting, Marine and Suvi opened on Mats 1 & 2.

Marine having the largest group of the day with 9 and the only knockout tournament. Marine starting with a bye along with 7 other players.

Marine’s first competitive fight of the day was against a tough Pinewood opponent. Marine was thrown for a wazari quite quickly before she could settle in. As Marine was beginning to find her way back into the fight she was caught with a reaching maki komi and the continuation was scored as the second Wazari to secure the win. This put Marine into the repêchage and after a long wait fought hard but eventually losing out ending her day earlier than we all hoped.

There were four other players in addition to Suvi in her category. In her first fight Suvi scored a quick yuko with a left drop-seoinage, and not long after this, she continued her opponent’s seoinage attempt into a strangle, winning her first fight with an ippon. Unfortunately, Suvi’s following opponents – two GB and one Northern Ireland squad player – were stronger than her. In her second match, Suvi found herself repeatedly cornered by her opponent’s strategic use of the boarders, and was eventually thrown by a seoi-makikomi. In her third match Suvi got controlled to the ground after a throw, and could not free herself from the strong hold. Suvi managed to score a yuko by kouchi-gake as counter in her last fight, but was caught after several minutes by an ippon-worth tani-otoshi. The results of the day leave Suvi looking forward to one more fight to win for her back belt points!

After a long wait the -66 were called to Mat 2 and Giovanny began his group of 4 of familiar faces by facing the eventual gold medallist. Gio took Kyle all the way but eventually lost to the 29 year old GB player.

Giovanny’s second fight was a full five minute battle with a very good 17 year old up and coming GB squad player where Gio went quickly behind by two shidos. Relentlessly the judo went on and finally scoring a yuko to negate the shidos Gio finally had the edge. With time running out Gio’s opponent pushed on and on the buzzer Gio threw with a great ogoshi for ippon. He then faced an old adversary from the Varsity Cambridge Oxford tournament where after a tough battle lost this fight by an ippon throw.

With all the fights over the silver medal position was shared by 3 players and a fight off soon ensued with Giovanny having to refight the oxford adversary which he won with a spectacular ippon sieo nage and true to the throws name secured an ippon. Giovanny went back on the mat with only two minutes rest – I must say by his own choosing (mad man) to face the feisty and strong 17 year old. Yet another mammoth battle was undertaken and Giovanny eventually lost this fight to secure the broze medal. A very tough day for a group of 4. Well done Giovanny

Greg’s group being the last group of the day in the over 100 kgs. The group consisted of 5 and was a fought as pool meaning 1 person was going home without a medal. Greg started the day against a 49 year old 1st Dan. Throwing quickly with a drop sieo nage for wazari Greg controlled the fight and within 2 minutes Greg counted a weak attack with fast feet and kosoto gari controlling his opponent to the ground for a straight ippon.

Greg’s second fight was against a 3rd Dan GBR badged player where it was a battle of wills. Greg catching his opponent with a fake sieo nage to ouchi gari and being scored a tough yuko. With 2 minutes remaining Greg moving around his opponent’s tusri komi goshi took a massive blow to the nose requiring medical attention but refusing to give up continued to push on. With his opponent chasing hard to find a throw eventually injuring himself and having to retire from the competition with 10 seconds on the clock.

Two wins up and confidence ever growing and Alec doing a great coaching job from the chair Greg faced a very brave 6th Kyu. Greg took control using the edge of the area to his advantage to push his opponent and the inexperience kicked in and he pushed Greg back very hard. With speed and agility Greg dropped for an ippon sieo nage to win by ippon.

Now fighting what was the final Greg used his speed to evade a weak attack and counter with a kosto gake for a Wazari and with speed scooping his opponent in to a hold down to win by two wazaris and take the Gold for Cambridge.

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