Nathon Burns won the second British Open silver medal of his career last weekend at the K2 centre in Crawley. Nathon, fighting at 60kg, was given a bye into the second round and in his first match faced Abetbool of Israel. Burns was leading by two penalty points when he produced the throw of the tournament-a massive left uchi-mata that saw both men leave the ground. This ended the contest and moved Burns into the quarter final against Yacoub of Germany. Nathon produced some clever grip fighting and dynamic attacking judo to force two penalties against his opponent. This was enough to win the contest and placed the Camberley fighter into the semi-final. Against Flox of Spain the match was tense throughout with both men nearly scoring from some superb attacks. With the score tied at full time the contest entered “golden score”. Here any score would be enough to end the contest immediately and Burns produce a lightning fast tomoe-nage to throw his Spanish opponent and put him into the final. Here he faced the defending champion and last year’s British number 1 -Ashley Mckenzie. Nathon was just shaded out of the final going down two minor scores that he could not get back and he had to settle for silver. This was Burns’ fourth major international medal of his senior career following previous medals in the Swiss, Swedish and British Open tournaments. He also recently place 5th in both the Finnish and Belgium Opens. The silver medal has moved Burns up the European Judo Union senior rankings into sixth place-a great achievement for a fighter who recently turned 21 years of age.
The same weekend Josh Butler was representing Great Britain in the junior French Open at 100kgs. The tournament, held annually in Lyon, is known as one of the toughest tests for junior fighters in the world. In his debut at the 100kg category Josh fought hard to earn a respectable 7th place finish. In his first contest Butler defeated Diaz of Spain to move into the quarter final. Here he faced Soyer of France and Josh lost the contest on two minor scores. In the repechage Butler was pitted against Geier of Austria and he produced a big throw to win the contest. This placed him in the repechage final against Belgium’s Nikiforov with the winner moving through to the bronze medal contest. Unfortunately Butler was countered for the maximum points and his competition was over. A placing in such an event at his first attempt in a new weight category is very promising for Butler who will aim to represent GBR at the forthcoming junior European and World Championships.