Successful day for JFAUK at day 1 of the 2018 WJF European Championship coming away with 3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal.
First on the tatami was Karl Summerbell defending his Para-athlete European Title. In his first fight, Karl used an Osoto Gari, scoring a Wazari before transitioning info a Kesa gatame, then Tati Shiho Gatame and then finishing of the fight with a clean Juji Gatame. Coming into his next fight, Karl managed to rotate out of his opponents throw, then once again secure the win with Ne-Waza with a Tati Shiho Gatame. Superb work by Karl who is now 2x WJF European Champion in the para athlete category!
Up next was Jason Baird in the Veterans -79kg category. Coming up against a Bulgarian in the first fight, Jason was unlucky in the early stages falling short to a Wazari. However, as the fight continued Jason worked extremely hard in Ne-Waza before attempting a flying Juji Gatame in the final seconds. Jason succeed with applying the technique, fully extending his opponents arm, however as his leg went over, his foot cut his the Bulgarians head, which bled immediately, and in the confusion Jason’s technique was nullified and not counted, resulting in Jason unluckily losing his fight. Next, Jason was up against a Greek judoka and utilised transitional Ashi Waza to score an Ippon. Afterwards, Jason was up against another Bulgarian, unfortunately losing to a Juji Gatame himself. Finally, Jason found himself against another Greek judoka in the Bronze Medal contest and was sure not to leave empty handed this time as he took over the Greek judoka to score an Ippon and put his hands on the Bronze Medal.
Next was Hannah Chesham taking on the Womens -78 kg category. In her first fight, Hannah took on an Italian judoka, unfortunately falling short to an Ippon throw mid-way through the fight. Next, Hannah found herself against a Greek Judoka, and motivated by her first loss, scored an enormous Tani Otoshi to claim the win, and silver medal.
The first of the Juniors, Benjamin Eriksen made his way to the contest area next. Benjamin made short work of his first opponent, using transitional judo to stifle his opponents attack and move into ne-waza, holding his opponent down with a Kesa Gatame to secure the win. Following this, Benjamin utilised a a big Ippon Seoi Nage to throw his next opponent and claim the gold medal.
The final Judoka of the day was Sebastian Eriksen who was keen to follow the path laid out by his older brother. Not rattled by pre-competition nerves, Sebastian dispatched of his first opponent, also with an Ippon Seoi Nage before securing the win in his second fight with a Kesa Gatama variation to take him the Eriksen family’s second gold medal of the day.
Before the tatami was closed for the day, a short Veterans Team event took place between two mixed country teams, with JFAUK’s Jason Baird stepping up for the red team, who eventually took gold.
All in all a fantastic day for JFAUK, and today’s judoka have certainly set the bar high. Tonight, half the team will celebrate whilst the others rest. Good luck to tomorrow’s team!