This year the Heart of England moved from the NIA to Walsall campus. A smaller venue but still with 5 mats running. The event was well attended with lots of competitors. Camberley had a total of 6 fighters in the tournament all hoping to come away with a medal.
On Saturday we had just Sarah Hill fighting at -63kg in Age band C. A solid performance saw her win 3 out of her four fights earning her the bronze medal.
Sunday was more busy. Sam Hughes competed in the -60kg senior section giving away more than 6kgs. He started off strong winning his first fight with a throw followed into a hold down. He then lost his next two fights putting him out of the tournament. Robyn Irwin had to withdraw from the competition due to illness.
In -73kg Lee Shinkin (Willesden 2011) was under quite a lot of pressure to perform as the winner out of the named top -73 seniors would get the last spot to represent Great Britain at the upcoming GB World Cup. A crucial opportunity to be in the running for London 2012 Olympics. Shinkin had an outstanding performance and won all 5 of his fights by ippon throw, including the final against Scotland’s Patrick Dawson. Lee will now be competing in 3 weeks time in Liverpool at the GB WC.
Frazer Chamberlain made his debut at -90kg, still growing into the weight he fought extremely hard and won 3 out of his 5 fights, one with an impressive Harai goshi for ippon. He lost the bronze fight by ippon and came away with a respectable 5thplace. Also fighting in -90kg was Vaslie Panfil who dominated the weight and beat Michael Horley in the final to win the gold medal.
Last of the long day was Stuart Brown fighting at -73kg Age Band D. Still fairly new to the weight and age group Stuart was clearly lighter than some of his opponents. He started off strong winning his first contest by ippon hold down. Possibly out strengthed in his second fight he ended up being armlocked seeing him drop down to the repecharge. Stuart didn’t lose heart and won 2 more fights both by ippon throw. At this point he needed to win another 5 fights in order to get the bronze! It wasn’t to be and a small mistake that his opponent capitalised on meant he lost and was out of the competition. A very long day for all.
Well done to all the fighters and to thanks to Vince Skillcorn who was coaching matside.