It seems like yesterday when we were cheering for our Olympic heroes in the English capital and here we are at the beginning of the next chapter. The journey to the next mega-event is about to begin, and it’s looking like Camberley Judo Club will be heavily involved again.
A pretty hectic few weeks passed by at the Deer Rock Road site, where the Camberley Elite team spend their days preparing to achieve their full potential in the next two years. Five dedicated male players were headed out on a South-American tour to compete at two Pan-American Opens.
The first destination was Montevideo, Uruguay. Making up the Camberley crew alongside the two London Olympians, Ashley McKenzie and Danny Williams, were Owen Livesey, Nathon Burns and Frazer Chamberlain. Disappointingly Williams picked up a knee injury the week the team were due to leave, it was a close call but in the end he had to withdraw last minute as the injury hadn’t quite recovered enough. In Montevideo, CJC collected a gold medal by McKenzie at -60kg and a silver medal by Livesey at -81kg, while Chamberlain finished fifth place at -90kg.
McKenzie and Chamberlain returned home whilst the rest of the team moved onto their next and last destination to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The medal shower continued when Livesey once again fought his way into the final and once again defeated the no 1 seed from Russia by a maximum score. He had had to settle for the silver medal but pushed the number 2 seed from Spain all the way. Burns, overcame the disappointment in Uruguay and won silver medal after showing an incredible performance. Camberley Judo Club returned with one gold, three silver and a fifth place.
Two tournaments and two medals, all in less than a week. “It’s been a hard last four weeks in the run up to these tournaments, I prepared well so I had the best chance possible of coming away with a medal” explains Livesey. “It would be nice to go to the European Championships, however if not selected I will still continue to train hard as there are many other tournaments coming up that I am aiming to succeed at.” – he added.
The team is now waiting for the announcement of the selection for the European Championships which will take place in April in Montpellier, France. The European Championships will be the last tournament before the Olympic qualification period begins for the team.
Later this month the selections for the Commonwealth Games will also be revealed and after this Pan-American tour Camberley elite team currently have three fighters in the number one ranked position for Team England.
In London 2012, CJC earned an Olympic medal after Karina Bryant winning bronze. Can we top it up in two years’ time?
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Report by Szandra Szogedi