London University Open

We took 4 people along to the London University Open yesterday. Would have been great to have had a load more of you along for the experience.

Everyone fought hard but the competition as a whole was harder this year and we had players entered i n the higher categories so only one medal this time, gold for Sarah in the u63 4k-2k category.

Sarah gets gold in u63 orange-blue belt category

There was a strong turnout in the various kyu grade categories. One of the nicest throws I saw from the kyu grades was this seoi nage from Ken of Solent Uni.

Ken from Solent throwing with seoi-nage

In the afternoon it was time for the 1st kyu/dan grade categories.

First up was Will in a surprisingly large u60k 1k+ category with 8 players. His first fight against a 1st Dan went the full 5 minutes but he lost to a waza-ari score despite several strong attempts to finish the fight on the ground. In his second fight a high grip gave his opponent an opportunity for a strong seoi nage which Will was unable to escape from.

Andrew and Riccardo were entered in what was possibly the hardest category of the day – u81k 1k+. After various shuffles of the draw Andrew was first into action. It was a well matched fight with each player scoring waza-ari and Andrew holding a small lead of 1 yuko as full time came close. Unfortunately after a 50/50 ashi waza attack where either player might have scored, Andrew conceded another waza-ari.

Andrew trying to follow up his waza-ari on the ground

In the repechage Andrew came up against Thomas Grandjean from Warwick who had lost in the first round to the eventual gold medallist. Despite a strong start to the fight a very cleanly executed ne-waza sequence saw Thomas win with juji gatame.

Final player in action was Riccardo at the other end of the u81 draw. Settling well into his first fight he finished off with a big ippon from harai goshi

Riccardo is too quick for the camera!

The second fight was a tougher match and after 4m30 both players were visibly fatigued but Riccardo has a yuko lead with both having scored waza ari. In the dying seconds Riccardo was caught in a hold and was unable to escape in time to avoid conceding a second waza ari.

Not a huge medal haul this weekend although a little more luck might have changed that around in particular for Andrew and Riccardo who each lost close matches to eventual medal winners. However it was good experience for everyone, and a chance to see new club members in action and to pick up on specific things to work on in training.

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