CUJC recently witnessed an exciting display of skill and sportsmanship at the inaugural CUJC Beginner’s Team Competition. After completing a successful beginner’s course during Michaelmas term, the newly graded red belts were eager to put their training into action.
Over the course of two days, 36 competitors competed in four teams led by prominent figures in the club: Cassia Taylor (Women’s Captain), Adeline Winshaw (Women’s City Captain), Julian Homann (Men’s Captain), and Showgo Kimura (President). For most of the participants, this was their first competition, meaning the event acted not only as an opportunity to determine the strongest but also to prepare them with valuable competitive experience before they represent CUJC in future competitions.
Showgo’s team emerged victorious on day one with impressive performances by Lily F, Alex, Amar, and Marcin, leading them to a hard-fought 4-3 win over Adeline’s team. Cassia’s team dominated on the other side of the competition, with Chris, Suzanne, Callum, Harris, Kevin, and Dean securing a 6-1 win over Julian’s team.
Day two was filled with even more thrilling action. In the bronze final Keryn secured an instant win with Osoto to give Julian’s team an early lead. Adeline’s team fought back with Chen levelling the score with a huge ippon-seoi, and Marine winning with a swift counter. However, Marius’ newaza and Kiran’s O-goshi helped Julian regain the lead. Despite Quentin’s valiant effort, Theo L’s O-soto-gaeshi, Theo A, and Rowan’s Tai-otoshi secured a well-earned third place for Julian’s team.
Despite all the tactics devised by Showgo and his team, the final saw Cassia’s team continue their winning streak. Keryn kicked things off with an ippon in the first 10 seconds. Chris followed with another win, managing to overcome the tenacious efforts of Alex with a counter. Adam, and Kevin then came out on top of closely contested fights to give Cassia a 4-0 lead, effectively securing the title. Suzanne came close to a consolidatory win for team Showgo, but Amelia ended all such hope with a beautifully timed O-soto gari. Harris and Dean delivered the final blows with some of the best Judo of the day. The final score 8-0, a decisive victory for Cassia and her team.
Our very own 6th Dan, Alec Edwards presented the trophy to the winning team, noting the impressive throwing skills of all competitors. Of all the impressive ippons however, Dean’s uchi-mata was commended highly, and Quentin’s ashi-guruma, crowned the best throw of the competition.
Overall, the competition was a resounding success. All competitors gained valuable competitive experience, Cassia and her team of champions have a shiny new trophy to their name, and CUJC now has 36 more talented athletes ready to bring back medals for the club. Finally, thank you very much to the organising committee, competitors, coaches, and all those involved in the competition for their hard work in ensuring its success.