The Olympic Qualification is reaching the half-way point soon and our elite athletes are constantly on the tour to pick up crucial points towards the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The weekend past, it was time to debut at the African Open in Mauritius where team CJC had four representatives and came away with two gold medals and two 5th places.
On the first day, Nathon Burns (U66) and Szandra Szogedi (U63) were called on duty. Nathon confidently defeated Jimmy Damour (FRA) and Siyabulela Mabulu (RSA) which put him through to the semi-final, where he was up against Houd Zourdani (ALG). The semi-final went into golden score (extra time), where a debatable decision made by the referee led the CJC warrior to settle for the bronze medal contest. For bronze Nathon was facing number two seeded, Diogo Cesar (POR). Nath put in an incredible performance however the Portuguese secured a yuko score on the score board which was enough to claim bronze. Nathon finished 5th place.
In the meantime, Szandra Szogedi was up against Jodie Mullen (GBR) in the first round, where she threw her opponent for yuko to make it through to the next round. In the semi-final, Szandra was facing number one seeded Garcia Estefania (ECU) where a well-executed ashi-waza helped her to book her spot in the final. For gold, Szandra had to overcome the number two seeded, Imene Aqouar (ALG). The CJC fighter left no room for the Algerian judoka triumph, and Szandra took the gold.
On day two, it was show time for Owen Livesey (U81) and Frazer Chamberlain (U90). Owen showed his outstanding ne-waza skills by winning his first two contests by hold downs against Jason Bijou (MRI) and Jonathan Charlot (MRI). In the final, number one seeded, Diogo Lima (POR) certainly looked up for the challenge against the CJC judoka, but Owen overcame his opponent by penalty points to take the final victory.
Frazer started off strong with a win against Sebastian Temesi (AUS) which put him straight to the semi-finals, where he was facing Abderrahmane Benamadi (ALG). The contest was head to head and Frazer put in a strong right sided attack which the Algerian managed to block and counter. For bronze, Frazer had to defeat Thomas Capra (USA). The CJC athlete was dominating the fight and was close to the podium place until Capra executed a yuko worth throw which than been upgraded to ippon by the referees. Frazer had to settle for 5th place.
CJC head coach, Luke Preston: “To win two gold medals was a great result for Camberley Judo Club. Both, Szandra and Owen fought very well all day. Although Nathon and Frazer were very disappointed to finish out of the medal zone, they both performed well and deserved to be on the podium.”