Tokyo Grand Slam- 9th -11th December 2011
To finish off a busy year Karina Bryant embarked on an Asian tour. First stop was Tokyo Japan. After some preparation training and acclimatization Karina competed in the last prestigious Grand Slam event of the year. An important event for her to pick up more World ranking points. She drew a Russian first and started the day with an impressive big counter technique and threw her opponent for maximum points. This brought her into the quarter finals against formidable opponent Mika Sugimoto of Japan. Karina was unable to find a way past Sugimoto, who was the eventual gold medallist, and had to settle for 5th place this time.
Qingdao Grand Prix 16th -18th December 2011
Final stop of the tour was China for the Qingdao Grand Prix. Karina had a busy day ahead of her. First to fall victim to Bryants power was China’s Rui Wang, Karina threw her for ippon with a counter technique. Swiftly followed by Italy’s Lucia Tangorre, also thrown for a full point, this time with an hip throw. Bryant continued her good form in her third bout strangling the Kazakhstan fighter into submission and moving her into the semi final against the world number 2, Qian Qin of China. A very intense fight but not the results Karina was hoping for, finishing the day with a well earnt bronze medal.
World Masters Almaty Kazakhstan- 14th– 15th January 2012
This event is by invite only to the top 16 fighters in each weight in the world. Only two GB fighters qualified for this event, Euan Burton and our CJC fighter Karina Bryant. Again this event would be very important to pick up more World ranking points to ensure more favourable seeding in the future event (including the Olympic Games).
Karina faced Mexican Vanessa Zambotti in her first bout. She won by a powerful uki goshi throw for the maximum score ending the fight in just 1 and a half minutes. Next she faced a rematch with Chinese Qian Qin who she lost to the previous month. A much closer match this time, Karina was only losing by half point but in the last 20 seconds was caught again. Qin went on to win the tournament and Karina finished with 5th place.
Matsura Dutch Open Espoir- 15th January 2012
Steely lone ranger Sarah Hill went it alone in the Dutch Open Espoir tournament. She impressively won 4 fights to get to the final but her winning streak didn’t continue unfortunately. Sarah came away with the silver medal and some more valuable lessons learnt in international fighting.
British Trials- 20th-21st January 2012
In the Junior section we had 3 fighters representing CJC. Making their debut at this event was Stuart Brown and Sarah Hill. Both fighters fought very well but lost their contests, neither looked far off the standard and will be back next year- watch out!
Elite team member Lasha Lekishvilli was competing in the -66kg. At last year’s in lasha won the silver medal hopes were high he could go one better. He certainly didn’t disappoint and won a very impressive 8 fights including beating close rival Danny Lyon to win the Gold medal. British Junior National Champion! Well done.
In the Senior section we had more competitors and were hoping for a few medals. Going through the weights, our lightest representatives was Nathon Burns at -66kg. He dispatched of 4 strong fighters and only narrowly lost to Colin Oates a European bronze medallist, finishing the day with a silver medal and ranked GB no2.
-81kg fighter Tom Davis had a tough day and didn’t seem to have lady luck on his side, some unfortunate decisions saw him lose 2 fights and win 3 giving him the bronze medal.
20 year old Josh Butler stepped up to face the top senior fighters in the country at -100kg. He won 3 and lost 3 fights and came away with the Bronze.
Finishing off the day was heavy weight Matthew Clempner in the +100kg category. He had won 5 fights and then faced nemesis Chris Sherrington, Clempner dominated the fight, claimed the Gold medal and title of British Champion.
Commonwealth Tournament- 24th January 2012
CJC just had two fighter in the Commonwealth tournament held in Cardiff, Wales. Sarah Hill in the Cadet -63kg and Lee Shinkin in the Senior -73kg. Sarah beat South African competitor Jeanne Bester in her first match of the day but unfortunately narrowly lost in golden score to her England rival Lulu Piovesana, earning her the silver medal. Lee Shinkin started by beating an Australian fighter but then lost to a Canadian seeing him drop into the repecharge to fight for bronze. He pulled back from the previous disappointing loss and beat the other England representative Jon Drane claiming the bronze medal.
Tbilisi Georgia World Cup- 28-29th Jan 2012
Busy fighter Danny Williams found himself in yet another corner of the World, this time Tbilisi Georgia. The young fighter drew an Azerbaijani competitor 1st fight, and confidently won with a submission from an armlock. This moved him through to face an experienced Polish competitor, former World and European Bronze medallist, it was going to be a challenging fight. Williams stepped up to the challenge and threw his opponent flat on his back for an outright 10 point win, the equivalent of a knock out in boxing. With his confidence boosted he went into the next fight against China’s Wei Lui, a very close fight saw William’s edged out by a small penalty forcing him to take a risk which unfortunately didn’t pay off and he conceded a 5 point score against him and lost the match. No medal but an impressive performance and lots of experience for Danny to build on in future events.
South Coast Open – Green Belts & Under- 29th January 2012
-27kg – Fighting up a weight from his normal weight (-27kg was the lightest weight at this competition!) Jack Baxter gave a brave performance and fought well but lost both of his fights. Just wait until he puts on a bit of weight…!!
-30kg – Tom Kirk won 3 fights and lost 1 with some impressive newaza and a lovely Ouchi throw, earning him the silver Medal.
-30kg – Luke Smith won a fantastic 3 fights and only lost to the eventual gold medallist in Golden score. His outstanding performance won him the bronze medal.
-38kg – Ben Baxter convincingly won 2 fights by big 10 point throws (the equivalent to a knock out in boxing!), but unfortunately didn’t maintain the dominance in the ground work and lost the semi final fight, he finished the day with the Bronze Medal.
U50kg – Bodie Blacklock – Bronze medal.
U36kg Pheonix Govey-Gray and Sheree Fleming at u57kg both got Gold medals.
Midland Area Age band- 28th-29th January 2012
We had 5 CJC fighters representing in the Midland Age bands. In the youngest category we had Oliver Baldwin who fought in the -46kg, he fought well but lost both of his fights In band B was Oliver Bergqvist & Toby Roberts in the -46kg and -42kg respectively. Oliver won 3 hard fights and lost 1 earning him the bronze medal. Toby also won 2 hard fights and lost 2 fights which wasn’t quite enough to get a medal this time. In the older group C was Sarah Hill at -63kg, she fought very well and won 3 fights including beating a close rival that she lost to in the Commonwealth tournament the previous week, she did lose 1 fight, giving her the bronze. In band D was Stuart Brown, he was fighting in the -73kg category. Very disappointingly he was quite unwell on the day, despite this he managed to win 1 fight but lost 2.
Paris Grand Slam- 4th – 5th February 2012
Only small team was selected by the BJA to take part in this prestigious event, from CJC it was only Karina Bryant that was given the honour. Bryant started the day of strong beating home fighter Andeol of France in the first round, moving her on to face a Tunisian rival who she beat by wazari in golden score. Karina now faced world ranked number 1 Tachimoto of Japan in the quarter finals. The CJC fighter was leading the fight with a 5 point score, a momentary lapse of concentration 4 minutes in from Bryant which Tachimoto capitalised on lost her the fight. Karina still came away with an impressive 5th place at the first Grand Slam of the Olympic year.
Austria World Cup- 11th – 12th February 2012
Danny Williams, Nathon Burns, Tom Davis and Matthew Clempner all travelled with coach Luke Preston to Oberwart in Austria for another well attended World Cup event.
In -66kg Nathon Burns drew an American 1st fight, a disappointing performance meant Burns was stopped at the first hurdle and didn’t progress into the second round. Danny Williams, more experienced at this level of tournament was in the -73kg along with 65 other judoka from around the world all vying for the Olympic qualification points. Williams beat Azerbaijani Orujov in his 1st match only to narrowly lose to a Kazakhstani fighter in the 3rd round. Next heaviest CJC competitor was Tom Davis in the -81kg, he beat a Columbian followed by a French fighter to face Takamatsu of Japan in the 3rd round. A very intense fight, but the Japanese fighter put a stop to the CJC warriors winning streak and put him out of the tournament. Last to step upto the mat in the +100kg was Matthew Clempner, he had just the one fight against a French competitor which he lost.
Northbrook mini- mon orange & under – 12th February 2012
Two of our mini CJC warriors headed off to Kent for the Northbrook mini-mon competition. Tom Kirk competed in the -30kg and won 3 fights, one by a 10 point throw and 2 with pins to get him into the final. He fought very well but didn’t manage to overcome older more experienced fighter so came away with a well-deserved Silver medal. Jack Baxter was in the -24kg category and smashed 2 opponents with 10 point throws but also lost 2 fights, putting up a brave fight against the gold medallist only losing on a 5 point throw. Bronze medal for Jack- well done.