Sam Sampson recently travelled to Cyprus to take part in the 2019 Cypriot Senior National Championships. Taking on the -81kg category, Sam faced a tough category of 18 judoka, each vying for the national title.
To start the day, Sam took on the #3 ranked judoka in Cyprus, eventually taking him down to score Ippon (maximum score) and advance into the second round. Moving into the second round, Sam found himself against the #2 ranked judoka and unfortunately a reckless move handed him a loss, and pushed him into the repechage. Making his way through the repechage, Sam later found himself up against yet another member of the Cypriot team however made short work of his opponent with a highlight reel foot sweep. Finally, Sam found himself in the repechage final and had a bronze medal within reach. A tough final saw him face off against a quick footed opponent however a strong counter technique earned Sam the bronze medal at his maiden Pancyprian championships.
With this result, Sam officially qualifies for the Cypriot National Judo team and follows in the footsteps of his father and the many other judoka who have trained at the Sobell Judo Club whilst bearing the Cypriot flag; including Ioannis Kouyialis a dynamic judoka who represented Cyprus at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
Congratulations to members of the Sobell Judo Club, London, Sam Sampson & Zeynep Sun who took part in the BJA 'We Will Remember Them' tournament on Sunday 4th November 2018. Zenynep started the day in the U78kg category and took on a big pool, dispatching of each of her opponents - including a dan grade! - to take home a gold medal and add to her growing collection of first place commendations.
Sam Sampson was next in the well supported U81kg category and worked his way through the knockouts and into the semi final. Unfortunately, a loss at this stage put him into the repechage, however he was still determined and managed to win his next fight to secure 3rd place.
Well done to both of you for your results!
Members of the Sobell Judo Club recently travelled to Greece to participate in the 2018 WJF European Championships.
Sobell Judoka Alexis Bardini, Karl Summerbell, Hannah Chesham, Sam Sampson, Samuel Charalambous, Benjamin Eriksen and Sebastian Eriksen left for Greece alongside team JFAUK to represent the country at the prestigious event; the team were extremely sucessful coming away with a number of medals. The full breakdown is below:
Alexis Bardini: Gold (Mens -75kg)
Karl Summerbell: Gold (Mens Para -66kg)
Hannah Chesham: Silver (Womens -78kg)
Sam Sampson: Silver (Mens -83kg)
Benjamin Eriksen: Gold (Boys -55kg)
Sebastian Eriksen: Gold (Boys -40kg)
Sam Charalambous: Withdrawn due to injury
Alongside the team, Sobell head coach also travelled to the tournament as Chairman of the WJF Referee Comitte and played a key role in helping to ensure the standard of refereeing was upheld. Alongside Sampson also travelled Sobell Coach Samuel Betu, playing his role as an international referee to assist in the running of the tournament.
Full write up:
Successful day for JFAUK at day 1 of the 2018 WJF European Championship coming away with 3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal.
First on the tatami was Karl Summerbell defending his Para-athlete European Title. In his first fight, Karl used an Osoto Gari, scoring a Wazari before transitioning info a Kesa gatame, then Tati Shiho Gatame and then finishing of the fight with a clean Juji Gatame. Coming into his next fight, Karl managed to rotate out of his opponents throw, then once again secure the win with Ne-Waza with a Tati Shiho Gatame. Superb work by Karl who is now 2x WJF European Champion in the para athlete category!
Up next was Jason Baird in the Veterans -79kg category. Coming up against a Bulgarian in the first fight, Jason was unlucky in the early stages falling short to a Wazari. However, as the fight continued Jason worked extremely hard in Ne-Waza before attempting a flying Juji Gatame in the final seconds. Jason succeed with applying the technique, fully extending his opponents arm, however as his leg went over, his foot cut his the Bulgarians head, which bled immediately, and in the confusion Jason’s technique was nullified and not counted, resulting in Jason unluckily losing his fight. Next, Jason was up against a Greek judoka and utilised transitional Ashi Waza to score an Ippon. Afterwards, Jason was up against another Bulgarian, unfortunately losing to a Juji Gatame himself. Finally, Jason found himself against another Greek judoka in the Bronze Medal contest and was sure not to leave empty handed this time as he took over the Greek judoka to score an Ippon and put his hands on the Bronze Medal.
Next was Hannah Chesham taking on the Womens -78 kg category. In her first fight, Hannah took on an Italian judoka, unfortunately falling short to an Ippon throw mid-way through the fight. Next, Hannah found herself against a Greek Judoka, and motivated by her first loss, scored an enormous Tani Otoshi to claim the win, and silver medal.
The first of the Juniors, Benjamin Eriksen made his way to the contest area next. Benjamin made short work of his first opponent, using transitional judo to stifle his opponents attack and move into ne-waza, holding his opponent down with a Kesa Gatame to secure the win. Following this, Benjamin utilised a a big Ippon Seoi Nage to throw his next opponent and claim the gold medal.
The final Judoka of the day was Sebastian Eriksen who was keen to follow the path laid out by his older brother. Not rattled by pre-competition nerves, Sebastian dispatched of his first opponent, also with an Ippon Seoi Nage before securing the win in his second fight with a Kesa Gatama variation to take him the Eriksen family’s second gold medal of the day.
Before the tatami was closed for the day, a short Veterans Team event took place between two mixed country teams, with JFAUK’s Jason Baird stepping up for the red team, who eventually took gold.
A big thank you also goes to JFAUK International Referee Samuel Betu who has continued to work alongside the WJF Referee Committee throughout this trip, assisting with the running of this tournament. Without people like Samuel in the wider WJF team, these events would not be possible.
All in all a fantastic day for JFAUK, and today’s judoka have certainly set the bar high. Tonight, half the team will celebrate whilst the others rest. Good luck to tomorrow’s team!
Day 2 of the WJF European Championships followed suit of the first day, with team JFAUK coming away with a plethora of medals.
Up first was 2016 WJF European Champion Sam Sampson who was looking to claim his second WJF European Gold in the new weight class of -83kg. Up first was a Greek opponent. Sam took his time to get going and worked through tough grips to finally execute a flying juji gatame and score ippon. Up next was yet another Greek opponent who Sam threw with a big Kata Guruma to take him into the final. In a repeat final of 2016, Sam found himself against a Bulgarian Judoka who had also moved up into -83kg. After a dynamic exchange between the two rivals, Sam was unfortunately caught by a Kata Guruma himself this time and had to settle for the silver medal.
Up next was Oli Relton in the men’s -79kg category. Starting his competition day Oli countered his first opponent with a Tani Otoshi to score a wazari before transitioning into a Kata Gatame, holding his opponent down for 25 seconds to score his second wazari and claim the win. Next, Oli continued his transitional judo by pulling off a huge Ippon Seoi Nage, quickly transitioning into a Juji Gatame to submit his opponent. For the Semi-final Oli decided to mix things up, this time utilising a Hane Goshi to score ippon and proceed to the final. In the final, Oli was face to face with a Greek Judoka who had also been on fine form throughout the day, however, unfazed by his opponents track record, Oli went back to his Ne-Waza to score ippon with a powerful Juji Gatame and claim the gold medal.
Up next was 2015 WJF European Champion Ross Elliot who was looking to re-claim his European title in the -99kg category. Up first for Ross was a Greek Judoka. In the early exchanges of the fight Ross scored a wazari using a Hiza Guruma, quickly transitioning into a Mune Gatame to hold his opponent down and claim the win. Next for Ross was yet another home Judoka. Ross followed the same pattern, using a Maki Komi to score wazari, transitioning into a Kesa Gatame and holding his opponent down to claim his second win. In the final, Ross found himself against a Turkish Judoka. In the early exchange, the Turkish fighter stumbled Ross with a Maki Komi attempt however Ross’ reactions were firing fast as he quickly utilised his Ne-Waza to first attempt an Eri Jime before transitioning into a Mune Gatame, eventually holding his opponent down to claim the gold.
Next to represent JFAUK was 2015 WJF Junior European Bronze Medalist Alexis Bardini in the men’s -75kg category. For his first fight Alexis used a quick Uchi Mata to Ouchi Gari combination to score ippon and get his day off to a good start. Next, Alexis found himself against a much taller opponent, forcing him to think carefully on how to claim his second win. Alexis utilised a similar strategy, using an Uchi Mata before changing direction and dropping into a Ko Uchi Gake to score the ippon. For his semi final match, Alexis found himself against an experienced Dan grade however was unfazed and managed to score an ippon with a Osoto Gake in the early seconds of the fight to progress to the final. In the final Alexis was certainly pushed to his limits in an extremely hard fought fight. After a extremely dynamic battle, Alexis eventually sunk in an Eri Jime to secure his WJF European gold medal.
Hannah Chesham also stepped on the tatami for the second time to take part in the womens open weight category. After battling through the category, Hannah came up a Bulgarian judoka. After an exchange between the two and a very close Juji Gatame attempt from Hannah, it was the Bulgarian who managed to find the space to score a Wazari and in the end hold Hannah down, leaving our JFAUK judoka with a silver medal.
Sam Charalambous was also set to compete in the men’s -75kg category but unfortunately had to withdraw before the competition due to an injured shoulder. However, Sam had a pivotal role in helping to warm up his team mates, get them ready and ensure they always had water and tape to hand.
An additional category, which was created in the spirit of judo, was also held in which Karl Summerbell who had just claimed gold in the Para athlete category was able to fight against able bodied Judoka. Once again defying all odds, Karl succeeded in achieving a silver medal to add to his collection.
Further to this category, a mixed nation team event was also initiated. This event was inspired by our Greek host’s visits to Japan, whereby at international events, mixed team competitions are often created out of Judoka from different countries to encourage integration between the Judoka from different nations. 4 teams were created and in team 1 were JFAUK Judoka Sam Sampson and Ross Elliot and in team 2 was Alexis Bardini and Oli Relton. In the end, it was team 1 who managed to top the podium, giving Sam Sampson and Ross Elliot a gold medal and trophy, and team 2 coming close in second place giving Alexis Bardini and Oli Relton a silver medal.
Overall a remarkably successful trip for JFAUK who’s strength at this tournament has certainly been growing each time we attend. We would like to thank our Judoka who have worked tirelessly throughout the year to represent us at this tournament and it is clear that their hard work has paid off. Once again we would like to thank Samuel Betu who travelled with the team to work as part of the referee committee alongside the Greek and Italian referees. Another thank you goes to JFAUK President Sampson Sampson who helped to lead the team to the event and their corresponding victories. Further to running an international training session alongside Alfredo Vismara (9th Dan) on Friday evening, Sampson spent the duration of the event assisting with refereeing as well as attending meetings with the WJF Committee to discuss the future and further progress of the WJF in the coming years. With many plans in mind, we are certainly excited to be part of this journey.
With a growing number of entries and a number of new countries entering this years championships, the WJF European Championships is certainly an event that will continue to grow and expand in the years to come.
The WJF European Championships are now over, and we look to 2020 for the next.
Well done to the Sobell team for heading to the AEJF National Ne-Waza Championships today in Hornchurch.
Zeynep smashed it as usual, taking away a gold.
Sacha fought remarkably hard, battling through controversial penalties and having a re-run of his pool due to even points before taking Silver due to a decision in a close fought final against an opponent he had previously beaten.
Sam was also unlucky, eventually taking a silver in the dan grade middle weight & Open, losing due to very controversial penalties against him - despite attempting to re-run one of the fights to remove controversy (referee’s agreed but his opponent declined).
Mikey fought extremely hard, taking bronze in both the dan grade middleweight & open.
These things happen and it’s all a learning process!
Also competing was Ross Elliot and Adam Brown from Club Judoka in Worthing, with Ross taking home a gold and Adam taking home a silver.
Great work by all!
Karl Summerbell took to the tatami next in the men’s -60kg. After unfortunately getting held down in his first fight, Karl’s next opponent withdrew due to injury, leaving him with a silver.
Sam Charalambous came up next in the men’s -73kg and was on fine form as usual, taking a gold.
Sam Sampson was the final judoka of the day however also missed weight and ended up in the -90kg category. Sam fought his way to the final, however a small mistake left him with the silver medal.
Congratulations to the boys who took the time to travel to Walsall to compete at this event, next time we hope to see more Sobell judoka step forward to compete.
Alexis Bardini came away with a silver medal in the men’s -75kg, Hannah Chesham took a gold in the ladies -70kg and a second gold in the ladies open, Sam Charalambous took a gold in the men’s -79kg and a Silver in the men’s open, and Sam Sampson took gold in the men’s -83kg.
Great work from the team supported by Sobell coaches Samuel Betu, WJF International Referee and Sampson Sampson, Chairman of WJF Referee Committee and vice chairman of the WJF technical committee.
Full write up from JFAUK:
Ross Elliot started the day and took the men’s -99kg category by storm, overcoming a large pool of Greek judoka before meeting a Bulgarian in the final. Ross kept his composure and came through the final with positive judo to take home the gold medal.
Alexis Bardini and Oli Relton were up next in the men’s -75kg category. The two started the category at opposite ends of the pool before eventually meeting in the final with Oli taking home the gold and Alexis taking silver.
Sam Charalambous took to the tatami next in the men’s -79kg, making a last minute decision to fight up a weight in order to avoid his team mates. Sam utilised beautiful technical judo before meeting a Greek dan grade and experienced Jiu Jitsu practitioner in the final. Sam represented judo well, proving once again that upright judo prevails and took home the gold for JFAUK.
Next, Sam Sampson returned to the men’s -83kg category for the first time since 2015. Sam too worked his way through his category before meeting a Greek judoka who was also an experienced Jiu Jitsu practitioner, deciding to take him to the ground and show the strength of JFAUK’s ne-waza by holding him down for ippon.
Hannah Chesham was representing the JFAUK girls today in the women’s -70kg category, managing to bring home the gold for JFAUK.
Unfortunately, Jason Baird in the veterans men’s -71kg had a difficult day, sustaining a head injury in the first round. He bravely fought on, however had to withdraw in his second fight after having problems with his eyesight.
To finish the day the open categories were held. Hannah Chesham bulldozed through her opponents to take home the gold.
Alexis Bardini, Sam Charalambous and Oli Relton entered the men’s open. Alexis unfortunately fell short in the first round to the Bulgarian coach. Sam Charalambous then took on a Bulgarian judoka with a weight advantage of 40kg. However, Sam was unfazed, threw him with a Wazari and later used shime-waza to collect the ippon win. Oli Relton stepped up next, again taking on a Greek judoka with a weight difference of 30kg, also using shime-waza to gain the ippon. Sam and Oli made the same progress in the rest of their fights before facing one another in the final. Oli gained the advantage this time and brought home his second gold of the day.
A superb display of judo by team JFAUK, congratulations to all!
Sobells Sam Charalambous of the -75kg category was up first. Sam completely dominated all of his contests, and despite a minor scare in the final, Sam came through with a huge Ippon Seoi Nage to take the gold. Next up was Sobell's -79kg judoka Sam Sampson who started his contest with a clean de ashi barai. Following this was a repeat of the final of the 2016 WJF European Championships where Sam met the Bulgarian judoka. However, there was no success for Sam this time as the Bulgarian won the contest with a wazari. He then went on to win the rest of his contests to take home a silver. Sobell's Alexis Bardini of the -71kg's stepped on the tatami next, sweeping through his category before facing a Greek judoka in the final. Unfortunately the Greek judoka got the better of Alexis, leaving Alexis with the silver medal.
Also competing for JFAUK was Jason Board from Dundee, who took home the Silver Medal in the Veterans -79kg, and Ross Elliot from Worthing who took home the Gold in the mens -100kg and a bronze in the mens Open Weight.Overall, a strong performance from JFAUK at a very tough tournament. As well as the tournament, a training camp also took place, led by JFAUK President Sampson Sampson followed by a dan grade examination for the JFAGR members.
Well done to all, you can view the pictures by clicking here