Two tough weekends spent in Sheffield saw CJC return home for the last time in 2014 with another 8 medals to finish the year.
Last weekend was the chance of the younger fighters to shine in the Pre-cadet and Cadet Nationals. There were some outstanding performances from the up and coming CJC warriors. In the Pre-cadets Cameron Charles retained his national title defeating club mate Oliver Penny in an intensely fought final at -60kg. In -38kg Tom Kirk was the youngest in the category, he battled his way to a well-deserved bronze medal, really showing this young fighters’ potential to push on to the next level. Narrowly missing out on a medal in -50kg was Ben Baxter, settling for a bitter 5th place. This disappointment was slightly remedied when the England Squad selection was announced, all 4 of the CJC Precadet boys made it on to the squad for 2015! David Saran got stuck in to the Cadet -60kg category, but winning 4 contests and losing 2 was still not enough to get to the medals. Just tipping in to the Cadet age band was Tom Lichter and Oliver Baldwin at -60kg. Both fought well with Oliver notching up a win but ultimately out strengthed by older more experienced fighters, they will be back next year bigger, better and stronger!
In the Junior British Championships George Cullum stepped up in -73kg and really showed that he is developing in to a senior Judo player. He worked his way through the pool system to secure a bronze medal in the final pool. In the girls, relatively inexperienced at this level was Francesca Paine -57kg, a tough first pool with top seeds meant she didn’t really get a chance to get going. Previous Cadet National champion Sarah Hill -70kg started the day strong as she went through the first pool comfortably. Subsequently a couple of mistakes in the next pool resulted in an earlier finish than hoped for as she missed out on progressing to the final pool and medals-finishing 5th.
Lastly it was the turn of the CJC Elite team. A mixed day saw some great performances alongside some misfortune. Our two gold medallists clearly dominated their respective weight categories and comfortably came out on top. Well done to Owen Livesey -81kg winning his second consecutive national title and Ashley Mckenzie on a consecutive hat trick of titles at -60kg! Alongside club mate Owen was Lee Shinkin who also made it to the final pool and took the bronze and secured his spot on the GB squad for next year. Great work after moving up a weight category in 2014. Looking very comfortable all day was Nathon Burns -66kg, he moved through to the final pool where his only real challenge was arch-rival Colin Oates. Burns was up by one penalty for the majority of the fight but lost a long exchange near the end of the fight and settled for silver. A tough scenario of equal wins and points in the first pools meant some fighters narrowly missed on progressing to the second round, 5th places went to Andrew Panayi and Dru Oakes -66kg, Frazer Chamberlain -90kg and Dan Harvey +100kg. As always both the team and fighting spirit showed by all was great to see.