AN excellent performance from the Samurai Judo Club veteran men’s squad saw them take six medals at the British Masters Championships at the Welsh National Sports Centre in Cardiff.

In the men’s 30-34 years age range, Gary Knight started with an excellent maximum point throw against an Irish fourth level black belt, then defeated a player from the Wirral in the semi-final with another great throw in just 21 seconds to reach the final.

This was against a very experienced player from Wales, but Knight was soon a score up and controlled the contest well to win by that score and collect the gold medal, his first British title.

In the 35-39 years age band, lightweight Rob Alloway reached the semi-finals, including an excellent win against a 2nd level black belt from London, before losing to the eventual gold medallist from Scotland. However, he came back well to win the bronze.

In the 50-55 years age band, Samurai coach Ian Mills faced an uphill struggle after sustaining a rib injury at work the previous day.

Nevertheless, he reached the semi-final with a dogged display of controlled technique. The semi-final against a Lancastrian was scoreless and went into extra time, but Ian simply could not get enough attacks in and received a penalty for passivity which ended the contest.

This left Mills in the bronze play-off against a Somerset player, despite his injury he produced a superb throw to take the bronze.

Derek Smith, technically not representing Samurai but a player who frequently trains at the club, added another gold in the 60-65 years age range.

Samurai also had three players competing in the lower grade section. Matthew Martin took the bronze, losing in the semi-final to the eventual winner from Cardiff, whilst Mark Allen added another bronze, defeating a London player in his last contest for the bronze with a good throw. Finally Rob Starbuck had a tough category but did well to take another bronze for the club.

Next year, the European Masters Championships is being held in Glasgow and Samurai is hoping to have a strong squad of their veterans at the event.