Harlow Judo Club stand the heat in Kent

The 25th Kent International 2019 Tournament – Medway Park, Gillingham, Kent

ON the hottest day of the year so far, instead of spending it outside, Medway Park, Kent, was Harlow Judo Club’s destination. Six players took part in the 2019 Kent International event and it was even more memorable as this was the 25th year of its running. This event was spread over 2 days on 5 mats and had 900 competitors competing with 700 on day 1. This high level event attracted players of all levels from all over the UK and was also well attended by Judo Clubs from Poland, Netherlands and Georgia. The standard of Judo was therefore going to be high and everyone who attended, was not disappointed. Four of the Club’s players competed on the first day in the Yellow belt section, one player competed in the Orange/Green belt section and one player competed in the higher level from Blue, Brown and Black belt section.

Millie Morgan (10), Eli Balski (9), Sorin Petrica (13) and George Franks (12) were the 4 players competing in the Yellow belt section. First up was Millie who was winning every round she was put through however, in the final round, a poor referee’s decision cost the young Harlow player the Gold medal and came away with a Silver medal. Eli was on at a similar time to fellow team mate, Millie. All was going well until he made similar errors in both his rounds which stopped him from progressing further into the competition and ended unplaced. Sorin followed soon after and whilst only having one other player in his own weight category, was merged with a player from the next weight group, where he won both contests with ease with superb techniques scoring Ippon (10 points) per fight, to claim the Club’s first Gold medal. George was the final player in this category and confidently breezed through his 4 fights also showing a good variety of techniques, to take the Club’s second and final Gold medal.

After a considerable wait, Sam Cobbin-Brown (12) was the Club’s only player in the Orange and Green belt section. Unfortunately his 2 fights did not go very well and he ended up unplaced however he did show great fighting spirit during his rounds.

The final player to represent the Club, with the longest wait, was Owen Lambert (13). He was in one of 2 pools which crossed over to become one final pool, fighting for the medals. Sadly, Owen lost his first fight and had to win the remaining 2 in his pool to stand a chance of medalling in the final pool. He won his next 3 fights with ease to advance to face the eventual Gold medal winner. He put up a brave fight but despite scoring first with a waza-ari score, the eventual winner soon scored an Ippon throw to win the contest and the group and Owen took the Club’s second and final Silver medal.

Coach Mick Ellis said “For some of my players, fighting under today’s conditions, was going to be very tough but the competition overall, was testing for some of his lower graded players. Saying that, I am very pleased with the team’s overall performance today, whether they medalled or didn’t – they all fought really well, showed great technique and spirit and did their best, which is what I ask of them”.

Harlow Judo Club are always on the lookout for sponsorship to help fund players in events all around the country at various levels. If you can assist, please contact Gill Ellis on gillianellis48@yahoo.co.uk or 07976 955905.

Harlow Judo Club also caters for those with special needs – please contact the Club for more details. They are based in Foldcroft, Harlow, CM20 1SE. For training times, please visit www.harlowjudoclub.com

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