Gold medal for judo debutant

SAM Norton-Brunet marked his debut judo competition for Samurai with a gold medal at the club’s open Mini-Me Championships, which was attended by 30 clubs from as far away as Wessex and Milton Keynes.

He threw players from Gloucester and Leicester for maximum points to reach the final and then comfortably defeated a Birmingham player by a high score to win the gold medal.

Spencer Benton looked as if he would make it a second gold for the club. Wins against players from Smethwick and Swindon saw him into the final of his category against a Worcester player, and Benton was soon in the lead, but he was caught against the run of play in a ground hold and could not escape.

The resulting maximum point score outweighed his lead and so he had to settle for silver.

Four more boys added bronze medals for the Samurai, Daniel Hickinbottom, Toby Grosvenor, Luke Talbot and Jake McAteer all ended up in bronze position.

So too did five of the girls, sisters Bonnie and Lily Deeming-Lane, Charlotte Silwood, Isla Tallon and Teigan Newbury.

Tallon was another debutant competing for the first time and was very unlucky not to reach her final.

Meanwhile, Samurai saw Lauren Fletcher, Sophie Pollitt and Sophie Deeming-Lane all qualified as new bronze level junior referees, while Leah Grosvenor, Toni Poulsom and Ellie Arnull were promoted from bronze level to silver by an independent assessor, following the annual Midlands course held at Samurai the previous day.

Laura Davenport and Rob Alloway also qualified as adult officials after the senior course held at the same time, while Rachel Palfreyman, already a referee, added the table official qualification of contest recorder to her CV.

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