Varsity 2019

February 23rd 2019, Cambridge University Sports Centre

City Women: Cambridge 4 – Oxford 1

City Men: Cambridge 3 – Oxford 4

Men B: Cambridge 6 – Oxford 1

Women A: Cambridge 3 – Oxford 2

Men A: Cambridge 3 – Oxford 4

This year’s competition marked a triumph for Cambridge following last year’s defeat in all four contests. Coming back from losing all four team trophies to Oxford last year, Cambridge won the Men’s B and Women’s A trophies. All Judokas fought incredibly well, and after the 31 fights, the teams showed good spirit and had a few friendly bouts in an impromptu Randori session.

We saw a friendly match between Women’s City Teams for the first time in its history. We hope that numbers will allow this to become a new tradition for Oxford’s and Cambridge’s Judo Clubs.

Women’s City Team

Team (5v5): Matilda Coata, Emy Dalby, Sarah Spencer, Jessica Edwards and Rosie Bainbridge

Result: Cambridge 4 – Oxford 1

The Women’s City Team, saw off their heavier and more senior Oxford opponents with a comprehensive and stylish display of quality judo.

Cambridge wins came from Matilda Coata, Emy Dalby, Jess Edwards and Rosie Bainbridge, with notable performances from Matilda and Emy, both of whom looked in complete control of their respective contests against more senior and experienced players. Cambridge’s Sarah Spencer gave a strong performance against a heavier and more experienced opponent.

Men’s City Team

Team: Nuno Rato, Markel Bilbao, Chris McGee, Toby Beamiss, Luke Shaw, Wayne Aldous and Greg Viney

Result: Cambridge 3 – Oxford 4

As per tradition 7 fights were held, but sadly Cambridge lost by the narrowest of margins to a very strong Oxford line-up.

The Cambridge wins came from Nuno Rato, Chris McGee and Luke Shaw. With notable performances from Nuno Rato, who controlled his fight with a display of high-quality judo from start to finish and Luke Shaw (3rd Kyu) who dominated his fight with a very purposeful display of strong judo against a very competent Dan-graded opponent.

Markel Bilbao, Toby Beamiss, Wayne Aldous and Greg Viney all gave worthy and valiant performances against quality and seasoned competitive opponents. Special praise goes to both Wayne and Greg for their efforts against their high-quality opposition at the top end of the line-up.

Men’s B Team:

Team: Azamat Kumikov, Jack Burrel, Tom Lowe, Will Grant, Harry Jones, Leon Mlodzian, and David Benjamin Grys.

Result: Cambridge 6 – Oxford 1

Last year CUJC the Cambridge B-team fought very hard in Oxford but could only win one fight due to a very strong Oxford B-team. This year the tables had turned and despite a strong B-team from Oxford, our B-team was able to win the trophy with a very convincing score (6-1)!

Azamat Kumikov: Azamat was our light weight fighter in the B-team. After a fifth place in the -66 kg at BUCS, Azamat was determined to win. Clever as always Azamat went for a dominating high left Kumi-kata against his right handed opponent, securing a Wazari score with a low Uchi-mata within seconds. Feeling uncomfortable with the Azamat’s grip, the Oxford opponent was penalized several times for passivity, eventually leading to a win for Azamat. 1-0!

Jack Burrel: Next up was Jack, our former Men’s captain. Jack is without a doubt A-team material but was happy to fight in the B-team this year so we could present a heavier A-team. Jack started his fight with a very confident and controlled right handed Kumi-kata, patiently waiting for his opponent to step forward. 30 seconds into the match Jack sees his opportunity and throws his opponent with a massive and perfectly executed standing Ippon- seoi-nage, old school style, Koga worthy. Ippon for Cambridge. 2-0!

Tom Lowe: Tom Lowe joined our club this year, showing excellent technique, agility and explosivity. His heavier and taller opponent perhaps underestimated Tom a bit and went for the attack seconds into the fight. Tom dodged his opponent and was almost able to score with a counter. Ten second later, Tom created a strong Kuzuchi and threw the Oxford player with a massive driving Ippon-seoi-nage, securing the Cambridge win after only 20 seconds. The throw was so powerful, the Oxford player bounced back. 3-0!

Will Grant: In the club Will is well known for his patience when it comes to setting up his attacks, and his excellent ground work. After a well-executed Uchi-mata from Will both players went to the ground (no score). Well quickly transitioned to a strangle and made his opponent tap out in seconds. Ippon for Cambridge! 4-0!

Harry Jones: As a former A-team player and well now judoka in the club, Harry knew exactly what to do. Literally two seconds into the fight, Harry throws his opponent with a strong Tai-otoshi (Wazari), and transitioned to a hold down. Holding his opponent firmly for Ippon, CUJC added another victory to their list. 5-0!

Leon Mlodzian: Leon was perhaps a bit of a wild card, as he had only shown up to training for the first time a week before Varsity. The Men’s Captain had a gut feeling Leon was a decent judoka and decided to put him on the B-team. Even though Leon hadn’t done judo for a long time, his grip and the way he “worked his opponent” showed Leon had done a lot of competition in the past. Seconds into the match, Leon countered an attack from his opponent, scoring a Wazari, and quickly transitioned to a Sankakujime hold-down. His opponent tapped out, another win for CUJC. 6-0!

David Benjamin Grys: David, who secured the only CUJC B-team win last year, had to fight a very strong visually impaired player from Oxford. His opponent had won BUCS in the -90kg category, but David was not going to back down easily. The format of the fight was tailored to the visually impaired player, which is only fair. David adapted his judo very well, but would have to restart the fight every time he broke the grip. After a counter from the opponent and a hold down, Oxford was able to secure the win! 6-1!

For the first time in several years the B-team had won Varsity. Happy team, proud captain! Well done, Lads!

Women’s A Team:

Team: Juliette Moussarie, Lois Cline, Caitlin Sargeant, Eleanor Stephens, and Rachel Lodge

Result: Cambridge 3 – Oxford 2

The Cambridge Women’s team reclaimed the Sake bowl this year after a 3-2 victory against Oxford.

First up was first year Juliette Moussarie, who quickly threw her opponent for Ippon with a counter. Lois Cline, a fourth year who only started Judo in October, fought Oxford’s novice, and threw her opponent for Ippon with an O-goshi. Women’s Captain, Caitlin Sargeant, fought valiantly, after success at BUCS the previous weekend, but Judo and Boxing Full Blue Rachel Wheatley quickly scored an Ippon by holding her down. Eleanor Stephens also fought hard but lost by hold down to her Oxford opponent. With the score at 2-2, Rachel Lodge had the deciding fight, and held her opponent down – winning by Ippon due to a submission, to bring the trophy home for Cambridge.

Men’s A Team:

Team: Peter Hampshire, Patrick Sykes, Stelios Sarantellis, Mihai Varsandan, Tom Dendooven, Simon Rose, James Edgeley.

Result: Cambridge 3 – Oxford 4

The BUCS Team, which formed 85% of the Varsity A-team had won the bronze medal at BUCS the week before Varsity, beating Oxford in a close fight for the 3rd place. Our A-team was determined to win! After a very close competition, with a bit of an unlucky ‘draw’ and Hansoku-make for CUJC in the final and deciding fight, the ever so strong Oxford Team won (4-3). We have learned a lot from this experience though and are more than ready for next year, where we will hopefully be injury free and even stronger than before.

Peter Hampshire: Peter is an extremely talented and lightning fast judo player, and our light weight for the day. Peter had beaten his opponent in the fight for bronze at the BUCS Team events and was once again very dominating in his grips, even though his opponent was taller. After a few attacks from Peter, the fight went to Ne-waza and Peter was able to pin down his opponent for Ippon. 1-0 for Cambridge.

Patrick Sykes: Patrick hadn’t done judo for a while due to a back injury but joined the training sessions again this year to prepare for BUCS and Varsity. His first attack, a beautiful Uchi-mata, was awarded a Wazari initially, but as the fight was proceeding on the ground the score was converted to an Ippon. This was perhaps the shortest fight of the Varsity event this year. Quick and clean, we expected nothing less from Patrick. 2-0 for Cambridge!

Stelios Sarantellis:  Stelios arguably had the toughest opponent of the day. The Oxford Men’s captain, Alex Hampshire, brother of our own Peter Hampshire, is a very talented and experienced judo player. Stelios himself however is a national player in his home country in Greece, and was dominating the fight, despite only just having recovered from a dislocated elbow. His experienced however opponent was patiently waiting to counter Stelios, which he did after Stelios attacked with an Uchi-mata (Wazari for Oxford), after which he pinned down Stelios for Ippon. We are very much looking forward to next year, when Stelios will be fully recovered and up to speed again and 100% in ‘competition mode’. Well done Stelios! (2-1!)

Mihai Varsandan: Mihai was only an orange belt but had shown excellent judo at both the individuals and team event at BUCS, fighting Black belts and showing his true potential. Therefor we decided to put Mihai on the A-team this year. His opponent was tougher than expected and was able to catch Mihai with a Tai-otoshi for Wazari. The fight was very even, with a few good chances for Mihai and good ground work. Eventually the Oxford opponent was able to counter an attack from Mihai, scoring his second Wazari. (2-2).

Tom Dendooven: Tom had incurred a serious shoulder injury during BUCS, but was determined to fight in Varsity. Tom controlled his opponent from the beginning and quickly scored Wazari with a Sasae-tsurikomi-ashi. Shortly after, Tom threw his opponent for Ippon with a stand-still Uchi-mata. 3-2!

Simon Rose: Simon had a very tall and though opponent and was having great difficulty moving and controlling him. The Oxford player handled Simon’s offer throws very well and was able to pin down Simon for a hold down. Ippon for Oxford. (3-3)

James Edgeley: with the score at 3-3 the final fight was going to be the deciding one! James’ opponent was the Oxford president and 3rd Dan Matthew, an experienced and technically gifted judo player. James however is hard to impress and seemed to have forgotten his serious foot injury. James convincingly dominated his opponent and almost scored early on in the match. After James’ first serious attack James set up a Juji-gatame arm lock whilst going down to the ground (see recordings available on YouTube). Unfortunately, the referee made the very doubtful call (see recordings available on YouTube) that this was a shoulder lock and invoked Hansoku-make on James, excluding him from the fight.

With a final score of 4-3 for the Oxford A team were this year’s winners. Both the Cambridge A- and B-team have learned a lot from Varsity 2019, and will take this experience with them to next year’s Varsity and BUCS to perform even better. If anything, this year’s Varsity and BUCS show that Cambridge University Judo Club has a bright competitive future ahead. Many congrats to the Cambridge B-team and Oxford A-team for their wins, and the Oxford B-team and Cambridge A-team for their beautiful judo and great effort.