Another team of six Judo Academy fighters attended the Shori Open event at the Foyle Arena at the weekend. This time it was the Judo Academy adults that took front stage.
Most were making their debut at senior level and from the six players, we achieved 2 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze medals.
First up, young Johnny Clarke competed in the middle kyu's and won his two matches convincingly to take the gold medal. His only other outing has been a NI Schools event. Johnny stood up very well against a traditional Jiu Jutsu opponent and managed to use his superior throwing skills to gain the advantage.
Another young warrior with only one outing under his belt; Jack Mc Kenna competed in the second middle kyu group and won four out of five matches against much older and heavier opponents. Some fantastic throwing skills, steely determination and tenacity took Jack to silver medal for his work. One piece of outstanding Newaza was also recorded.
Johnny Close was the lightest in the middle kyu category and had five tough matches. Although no wins, Johnny was on top in three of his matches, but the extra weight and experience told in the end. In his own words, his experience yesterday ' lit the fire' for him. A great and valuable experience!
Johnny Collins won one match and lost one in the upper kyu group to gain a memorable silver medal on his first attempt at competition. Unfortunately, Johnny injured his knee in his second match and had to withdraw from the third. Johnny loved the experience and has vowed to return to do more and gain his black belt.
Lukas Gridizis comfortably won his three matches in the Upper Kyu's by ippon winning gold in stylish fashion. Lukas, originally from Lithuania has settled in N.Ireland in the last few years. Lukas aims to compete on NI squads in the future and after Sunday's performance, that time will come sooner rather than later.
Michael McMillan secured two bronze medals, one in the senior section and one in the veterans section. Two more wins for Michael on his journey and much more mat time that is always invaluable. Michael was ably supported by Nicole who also entered the event, but was unable to get any suitors this time.
Thanks go to Grace and Stephen for coaching the guys.
Many Thanks also to Anne Marie, Davy, Robert, Patrick, Jonah, Ethan and Adam who held the fort while the guys competed. We could not do it without his help.
Well done to all that attended both events!