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Friday, 05/08/2015 - 17:49 -

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R.K.Judo club are going from strength to strength. A weekend in the UK at the BJC British Open National Championships was an outstanding success yet again.
Eight players from 8 to 42 years old, made up the team travelling with family and coaches to support the only club from Spain at this prestigious event.
Our youngest competitor Ashton Hancock was our first star of the day. Being ill the night before, not knowing if he would even be able to fight, didn’t interrupt this young man's focus: fight, win, and worry about it after, is exactly what he did to become British Open Champion in his weight.
That was an inspiring start for the other youngsters. Ben Barkby, 11, held the British title from the year before; his aim was to defend it. With fabulous technique, coo, calm and quietly confident he did not disappoint. For the second year running he holds the title British Open Champion.
It didn't stop there, success was contagious. Tom Whybrow, 12, showed us that if you listen to the right people giving the right advice, then a champion will emerge - and by golly did he do just that. He won all fights but one on full points, meaning Gold, and another British Open Champion was announced.
Trying for the same result was Ryan Whitehead, in a group of 20, making it a tough task. First fight was against the eventual gold medallist, but he fought probably the best he has ever done, losing only by a judge's decision. This put Ryan in a good position to come back for a chance of a medal of another colour. Back he came with superb judo, a step up in his fighting, to seal a well deserved 3rd place Bronze.
A similar story for our very own ‘pocket rocket’ Sofia Briggs Harrison. She turned 10 only two weeks ago meaning she was the youngest in her group. As usual Sofia performed brilliantly, just being pipped at the post to get into the final, but still took National Bronze to add to her ever-growing collection.
Our last youngster Lisa Lindberg, 13, again was the youngest and lightest in her category. After winning her first fight, she yet again came up against the reigning champion, whom Lisa is slowly but surely improving against. Unfortunately on this occasion Lisa missed out on a medal, but finished 5th for her efforts.
The last two competitors were two senior ladies. Roxy Van Der Hoofd and Karen Barkby.
Roxy fought, for the first time in 14 years. Still only 23, she was disappointed not to take a medal but finished 5th. She is determined to do better later in the year.
To finish the day, Karen fought in the Dan Grade women's, all competitors being no older than 23, with Karen being 42. Making this possibly her last competitive contest, she was not going home empty-handed. Amazing herself and others, Karen threw her last opponent for full points, securing the Gold and the last title in her career of British Open Champion 2015.
So our results were 4 British Open Champions, 2 Bronze medallists and 2 fifth places.
‘NOT BAD AT ALL’ say coaches Rodd and Karen Barkby.

For more information about our club please tel 645539566 or e-mail or check out our website

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