Members of the Sobell Judo Club, London, travelled to the All England Fred Turner Memorial Championships last weekend and dominated the podiums to come away with an incredible 10 medals.
Starting the day was Magic Maceij in the Kyu grade -73kg category. Maceij was not fazed by the aggression of his opponents and opened up the day for Sobell with an enormous Ippon Seoi Nage / Kata Guruma combination. Moving into his next fight Maceij followed form and used effective gripping strategies to set up another big ippon seoi nage to take gold.
Next up the Zeynep in the -78kg and Caterina in the -57kg took to the tatami. Caterina started her contest scoring a quick wazari with a drop seoi nage. Shortly after, she scored a clean Osoto Gari to finish her category and take gold. In an effort to get more fights, Caterina entered the ladies open and used quick ne-waza to defeat her heavyweight opponent than her with effective ne-waza to score ippon. Unfortunately, following that win, the other ladies withdrew from the contest leaving Caterina with a thirst for more fights, which will have to be quenched another day.
Sobell’s Zeynep took on her first opponent and throughout a rough exchange unfortunately fell short to a wazari which cost her her opening fight. However, determined to make up for it she went after her next opponent with force and executed shime-waza to score ippon. In the final standings, Zeynep actually came out on top as a result of points however a clerical error on the sheet meant Zeynep had to settle for a silver medal on the podium, but a gold medal in principle.
Karl Summerbell and Alex Charalambous were up next in the men’s -66kg category. Karl faced tough opening fights and despite putting up a good fight and nearly catching his opponents, unfortunately had to walk away with a bronze medal in hand. Alex Charalambous however was certainly hungry for Ippons, producing some of the best throws of the day, bulldozing through his opponents to top the podium and come away with Gold.
Lucien and Ilyas took to the tatami in the men’s Kyu -81/-90kg amalgamated categories. Lucien opened up the contest with a strong showing of Ashi-waza, executing clean Uchi matas to make his way into the final. Ilyas followed similar form, despite only training judo for a few months, and used both tachi-waza and shime-waza to create an all-Sobell final between the two clubmates. In this case, experience proved to be the deciding factor as Lucien claimed gold and Ilyas claimed silver.
Mikey Barton stepped up shortly after and took on a tough category of experienced dan grades in the Mens middleweight Open. Starting his contest well against a strong opponent, Mikey scored a Yuko in the opening exchange, nearly scoring an ippon in ne-waza. However, unfortunately succumbed to a wazari as a result of a Tomoe nage in the latter end of the fight. Mikey kept his heart strong in his following fights and each time was on the edge of securing the win, however his opponents used their experience in their favour, leaving Mikey with a well-fought bronze medal. However, still hungry for more, Mikey entered the men’s open at the end of the contest and this time scored a handful of ippons to bring home a silver medal.
Jack Fairbairn was sobell’s final judoka of the day in the men’s lower Kyu -73kg category. Jacks opening contest saw him face up against a blue belt and despite only training for 3 months, Jacks determination paid off as he scored two clean wazari‘s start of with a win, unfortunately two consecutive losses came next, however still eager, a final win saw him earn a bronze medal.
A superb performance by all who truly represented the club to a supremely high standard, with many compliments regarding Sobell’s judoka given. Also attending was Sam Sampson, who withdrew due to illness and instead focused on coaching and supporting the team.