Final fling for the spring term was the Hampshire Closed competition, held this year at St Marys Leisure Centre in Southampton for the first time. The end of term and ongoing injury challenges meant we did not have as many entrants as we might have hoped for but 3 players turned out for an afternoon of Judo – Helen, Szymon and Will, along with occasional visitor to our club Peter
Szymon was first into action in the largest mens category, U81. A not entirely unexpected combination of ippon seoi nage and solid groundwork saw him comfortably through his pool and into the knockout. The pattern continued in the knockout, including a match up with Peter who was unfortunately pushed down to the repechage as Szymon worked his way to the semi final. This was the hardest contest of the day so far but a well timed throw for ippon saw the place in the final booked. Meanwhile Peter got to grips with the repechage and fought his way to a well deserved bronze medal after taking the decision in the repechage final against a strong but tired opponent.
With Szymon’s opponent in the final having shown some good judo we were geared up for the toughest contest yet. In the end however a beautifully timed seoi nage caught us all by surprise and Szymon was the gold medallist and Hampshire champion for 2013.
In the women’s category the number of entries was very low and Helen was part of a convoluted set of overlapping categories aimed at giving everyone a change to compete. There were some strong players present and unfortunately we were not able to see a repeat of the success from BUCS, and were left frustrated by a rather suspect definition of osae-komi! Will also suffered a little at the hands of hasty refereeing decisions with what looked like a solid strangle about to be locked in stopped rather too quickly and he was unable to make it into the knockout
On the whole a great event with a good atmosphere. It was good to see so many of the Hampshire clubs taking part and hopefully timing will allow us to enter more players next year, especially if it is held on our doorstep again