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Evers claims bronze for Samurai in fine a debut
10:00am Friday 4th January 2013 in Sport
SAMURAI ended 2012 by winning nine medals at the Rod Lane Championships.
The tournament is held annually in memory of one of the club’s stalwart members for many years and father of two of the club’s coaches.
In the men’s low grades section there were some new faces competing for the first time.
Some good work from Luke Evers helped himself to a bronze medal in his debut competition.
Sam Mills, son of coach Ian, was also making his competition bow and, although not in the medals, fought well.
In the heavyweights, Alex Fontanai and Jack Cockram were both winning well and reached the semi-finals, where they ended up against each other.
Cockram edged the victory to take a place in the final which at one stage he looked as if he would win, but in the end inexperience cost him the match and he had to settle for silver.
Meanwhile, Fontanai bounced back to claim the bronze.
In the intermediate grades section, Matt Davies was making his return to the contest mat after starting back at the club recently.
He showed he had not lost any of his old skill with five fine wins taking him into the final, which again he dominated but then got caught by a very good throw and had to settle for silver.Stefan Newbury also made a comeback.
He started judo more than 15 years ago but then had to give up training and competing at a young age due to a back problem.
Instead, he became a top level referee and event organiser with the club, which has always prided itself on giving players different pathways to success.
He also gained his black belt via the non-competitive technical route, but his back problem has now been cured and he has returned to the mat with the aim of gaining his black belt competitively as well.
He took a bronze after a determined performance and a series of good throws.
In the ladies section, a spectacular throw in her semi-final gave Jess Sullivan a place in the final and an eventual silver medal.
In the open category, Laura Dangerfield and Gemma Edwards had a go against massively heavier players and both were rewarded by bronze medals.