Rio 2016 Qualification
Outstanding fighting spirit put Camberley elite team on the podium
Four members of CJC’s elite team started out with a strong performance at the beginning of the three week Pan-American Tour. During the three weeks, our athletes will be aiming to earn crucial Olympic qualification points.
The first stop of the journey was the Pan-American Open in Chile where Danny Williams brought the first celebration to the team in the U73kg category. First up the CJC warrior was up against Gabriel Diaz (ARG) where he executed a seoi-nage worth a waza-ari to take the lead. A minute later, Williams dominated his opponent in ne-waza to finish the contest. In the quarter-finals, Williams was up against London 2012 Olympic Silver medallist, Ungvari Miklos (HUN) where our Commonwealth Champion put up an incredible fight, however two penalty points against him resulted the Hungarian to go through to the semis.
In the repechage, Williams soon bounced back and overcome Miranda Augusto (PUR) by a yuko score and booked himself a spot in the final block. In the bronze medal, Williams left the team on the edge of their seats until the last minute. The CJC fighter was down by a shido, however his fighting spirit and strength in ne-waza once again shone through as he held down Alejandro Clara (ARG) to claim the bronze.
On the same day, Szandra Szogedi was on stage too in the U63kg category. Szogedi started off with a promising performance against Laura Jauhiainen (FIN). Scoring a waza-ari and two yuko with her favourite throw, o-uchi gari-this allowed Szogedi to go through to the next round where she met the eventual gold medallist Andrea Gutierrez (MEX). A single penalty led Szogedi to settle for the repechage contest where another single penalty point was the deciding score but this time to Beatrice Valois-Fortier (CAN) which allowed Szandra to fight for bronze. The battle for the medal was against Estefania Garcia (ECU), Szogedi was dominating until the last minute when a minor error set her back and resulted in her missing out on a podium place.
The second day of the tournament brought more nerve-wracking moments as well as celebrations. Owen Livesey was on fire in the U81kg category. Livesey started off his day defeating Luis Vega (ARG) by a waza-ari with an uchi-mata throw. The same throw in addition with an osei-komi waza was enough to overcome Eoin Coughlan (AUS) in the quarter finals.
In the semis, Livesey was up against 2014 World bronze medallist and Olympic bronze medallist, Ivan Nifontov (RUS). The CJC fighter first challenged the Russian with his dominating gripping style and soon put his opponent under pressure by three shidos before taking the final step and threw Nifontov for Ippon by a greatly executed sasai-tsurikomi-ashi. The final contest was against last year’s Samsun Grand Prix bronze medallist, Ungvari Attila (HUN). Up to half-time the Hungarian judoka was down by two penalties when he took down Livesey for a waza-ari and topped it up with an extra shido against the CJC player. With only 27seconds remaining on the clock, Livesey stunned Ungvari for Ippon, scoring with a side take down to claim the top spot on the podium. Livesey displayed not only an incredible performance but a great heart of a fighter.
And this was not the end… Frazer Chamberlain also shined, this time in the U90kg category. Robert Edwards (CAN) was the first challenge of the day. It was only a challenge until Chamberlain pulled out his secret gun and defeated his opponent by a flying arm-bar. In the quarter-finals, Chamberlain was facing European Champion and World bronze medallist, Kirill Denisov (RUS), the CJC judoka started off by an outstanding gripping structure against his opponent. A minor error made by Chamberlain allowed the Russian judoka to make his way to the semi-final.
The repechage contest brought a match up against Christian Schmidt (ARG), where Chamberlain put his team as well as the score board under pressure. Right at the beginning of the contest, Schmidt scored for waza-ari yet got held down by Chamberlain up to a yuko score, the Argentinian escaped momentarily but Chamberlain put him back in the hold down. It did not end there, Schmidt escaped again but left himself vulnerable and Chamberlain capitalised on the opportunity and ended the contest with a submission from a strangle. To win the bronze, Frazer faced Isao Cardenas (MEX), the last challenge of the day for team CJC. Chamberlain had a strong battle with the Mexican until the last 30 seconds where the high spirit of a judo player was once again displayed and Chamberlain threw Cardenas for waza-ari with a right sided uki-goshi.
One gold and two bronze medals and a fifth place earned by the team over the weekend. The quartet will complete a training camp in Chile before heading towards their next destination which will be Uruguay, where they will be joined by two other team mates, Nathon Burns and Aaron Turner.
Pan-American Open Uruguay – 14th & 15th of March 2015
Nathon Burns U66kg
Aaron Turner U66kg
Danny Williams U73kg
Szandra Szogedi U63kg
Owen Livesey U81kg
Frazer Chamberlain U90kg