HARLEY White and Rhea Turner led the way with gold medals as the younger Samurai Judo Club players had their day at the club’s open Mini-Me Championships at their Zortech Avenue Headquarters.
Over a hundred players from over twenty different clubs attended the event.
First up to fight was a second generation Samurai, Jamie Leroux, son of Ian Leroux, one of the club’s most successful stars of the 1980s.
Jamie beat the eventual gold medalist from Kettering in his first contest, before losing the semi-final but he came back well to win his last contest to secure the bronze medal.
Next up was the very promising Isaac Sobolewski, who had two fine wins and a battling draw on his way to a bronze medal.
Harrison Flello was also winning well in the next category, again finishing with bronze after defeating a Redditch player in the play-off.
In the category above that, Dominic Jones reached the final but lost to a much more experienced player from Dudley and had to settle for silver.
Mateo Allen added another bronze to his collection in the next category, and Luke Jahromi also took bronze in the category above that, beating another Redditch player in his play-off.
Harley White was the last of the Samurai boys to compete and he looked in superb form, winning every contest by maximum point throws, a different throw each time which were well executed.
The girls were also on good form. Lucy Hickinbottom was first up and gave them a good start with a battling performance that got her past players from Wolverhampton and Nottingham and into the final, where she lost to a player from Stafford and had to settle for silver.
Next was Thea Kent, who picked up a bronze on her competition debut.
Isla Tallon won her first three contests by maximum points against players from Wales, Redditch and Birmingham to reach the final.
The final was an excellent battle against a very talented Birmingham player and after two minutes the other girl caught Isla with a good throw for maximum points, but silver was a good result for Isla, especially so soon after her return to judo.
Meghann O’Sullivan and Rhea Turner, both competed in the same category. Meghann started with a fine win against a Mercia girl, but then lost to a Welsh girl from Irfon.
Rhea, meanwhile, won both of her first two to make the final against the Welsh girl, and whilst Meghann went on to win the bronze, Rhea demolished the Welsh girl in less than half a minute, firstly with a high score from a throw and then following up well into a ground hold to gain maximum points and the gold medal.
Niya White, daughter of former Samurai international player Sarah White (formerly Wilson) and British Army Champion Steve White, fought well to gain a bronze, losing the semi-final but winning the play-off against another Birmingham girl.