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.
Islington judoka from the Sobell Judo Club have just returned from the 2019 Bilzen Judo Open held in Belgium, with 4 international medals in tow!
The North London based team took the 10 hour drive to Belgium Saturday night in preparation for the competition on Sunday. The event is an annual international judo competition drawing judoka from Belgium, the UK, the Nederlands, France, Germany amongst other countries.
First up from Sobell was Sam Sampson in the senior men’s -81kg category. Sams first opponent was a Dutch judoka and a close fight took it to golden score. After a hard fought golden score (sudden death) - that lasted a full 20 minutes! After the long battle, Sam was eventually caught by a stumbling wazari and handed a loss. Next, Sam was up against a fellow British Judoka, travelling with a different team, and this time was able to catch him with a Juji Gatame to score Ippon and take home the silver medal.
Next up was Saad Sid and Sasha McClean in the men’s -90kg category. In this category it was our British Judoka who came out on top, with Saad Sid using his trademark Ogoshi to take gold, Sasha McClean using fast Ne-Waza to take Silver over their Belgian opponents.
Lucien Buleandra stepped up next in the men’s -81kg Kyu grade category and was on fine form as usual. Up first he took on a British Judoka, taking him out with strong Katame Waza. Next, he dispatched of his Belgian opponent with a huge, showstopping Ogoshi to take home gold.
The Sobell judoka travelled with the Judo for All United Kingdom team, alongside fellow judoka from Club Judoka in Worthing. The full team came away with 3 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze.
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!
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!