Karina Bryant has just been announced as the British Olympic Association’s athlete of the year 2009 for judo. This great honour follows her world silver medal at +78kg and a great month for the Camberley fighter. At last weekend’s prestigious Tokyo Grand Slam Karina finished in 5th place falling at the quarter final stage after some good wins including defeating former World Bronze medallist Uilenhoed from Holland. Karina then travelled across Japan with the British Women’s Team to compete in the Japanese Invitational International Team Event. The British women won a well deserved silver medal beating Japan’s B team and Germany and only losing in the final to the All Japan Women’s team. Karina won her first two fights in style and drew her final match against the home nation. Also in Japan Sam Lowe competed in the Tokyo Grand Slam at under 78kg winning her first contest by maximum points against Russia and only falling to the current european and world silver medallist Pryshchepa from the Ukraine after a hard battle. Nathon Burns was also out in the home of judo with the British Team to take part in the intensive training camps before and after the Tokyo Grand Slam. All three players will have spent a great three weeks training in the premier judo nation.
Back at CJC it has been a brilliant week of training. The club was visited by former World Champion and now coach of Belgium Neil Adams. He brought a squad of fourteen Belgium judoka to train for the week at the club. Also this week the club hosted a young team from Macedonia and two judoka from Tsukuba University in Japan. This led to some of the busiest and exciting randori sessions the club has seen in 2009!