ANOTHER stunning performance from Samurai’s Nathan Gallacher saw him take the gold medal at the North-West Open Championships in St Helens.
Despite the presence of all of Britain’s top players in that weight category, the youngster produced a masterful display.
Following his gold medal at the Midlands Open two weeks ago, the other major ranking event of the first quarter of 2014, Gallacher started as top seed and quickly won his first two contests against players from Wigan and Scotland with maximum point groundholds.
His quarter-final match against a Southern-based player was rather tougher.
Gallacher dominated throughout and his opponent received two penalties for not attacking which secured the Samurai student’s place in the semi-final.
He was then up against a player from Devon who he had convincingly beaten at the Midlands Open.
He was soon a high score up, but his opponent seemed to just want to go the distance rather than actually try to win.
In the end, the Wyre Forest fighter ran up a series of scores to secure his place in the final against a London player.
The final lasted 20 seconds as Gallacher threw his rival to earn gold.
Darcie Hancocks still looked far from well and lost her first contest against a Scottish player she normally beats easily.
But she came back to win both of her repêchage contests to win the bronze.
Meanwhile, Bryony Griffiths, Becky Hobby, Hetty Tinsdale, Ellie Arnull and Worcester Judo Club’s Sian Bobrowska all fought well.
Griffiths won several contests to finish seventh and Hobby defeated the eventual fifth-placed player.
But Griffiths decided to stay over to the second day of the event to support Gallacher and opted, as she was there, to have a go in the older age band.
She gave a superb performance of both skill and determination and was rewarded with a bronze medal, winning the play-off comfortably after only narrowly losing to the silver medallist in the semi-final.
Anyone who wants details about starting judo or information about the Samurai can call 07761 122977 or visit samurai.org.uk