'Four members of the Judo Academy and recently formed NI Pathway Squad competed at the British Schools Judo Championships in Sheffield at the weekend. They all performed fantastically well at a high-level event with hundreds of competitors from across the UK. The English Institute of Sport is the biggest venue these players could hope to perform at their age group and is a daunting but fulfilling experience for the players.
Quinn Armstrong representing Wallace High School achieved a magnificent bronze medal, narrowly defeated by the Gold medallist in the semi-final, and wining two of his matches by ippon. Quinn was also the youngest in his category and has another year at the same age group next year. To crown a particularly great day, Quinn recorded 10 points towards his 1st Dan Black belt.
Little sister Imogen from Wallace High also achieved a semi-final place with a fine win in her first expedition in England. Narrowly defeated by wazaari in a full-length contest, Imogen was so close to reaching the final. Imogen was defeated at the bronze medal contest leaving a very credible 5th place finish.
Aodhan McGivern from De Lasalle Belfast, was also a 'newbie' across the water, was defeated in his first match, came back in the repechage with a fine Ippon throw, only to be scuppered in the next round of repechage, a 5th place finish for Aodhan as well.
Conall McGivern, also from De Lasalle Belfast faced a group with 32 competitors, under 66kg, a particularly tough category at cadet level. Although winning for a period of time in his first match, Conall was caught and dropped into the repechage. Another energy sapping contest ended in 'Armlock'.
Conall quoted that this was 'the toughest event he has ever fought in.'
All four have maintained their attendance at the NIPS and can't wait to get back on the mats at the NI Open.
A great experience for everyone involved!'