SAMURAI Judo Club in Kidderminster have another young black belt player on their books after the Rod Lane Kyu Grades Championships.

An outstanding performance from Sophie Deeming-Lane not only gained her the gold medal in her own weight category and silver in the open category at the competition, but also gave her all the remaining points she needed for her black belt.

Sophie, aged 16, clocked up four wins by maximum points to take the gold in her category, defeating players from Newport, Bristol, Cirencester and Birmingham, all by maximum points.

In the open weight category, two more maximum point wins took her into the final which she dominated against a much heavier Halesowen player, but then got caught on the ground and had to settle for silver.

Sophie becomes the fourth Samurai lady to get her black belt this year, after Leah Grosvenor, Olivia Turner and Hetty Tinsdale, all teenagers.

The club has also gained two new male black belts this year, with another teenager, Nathan Gallacher, and one of the club’s parent players, Paul Spencer.

In the senior men’s lower grades section, Mark Allen has several good wins on his way to a silver medal, whilst veteran Matthew Martin was giving away a lot of years against university players but still managed a bronze, as did youngster Jack Walker. However, the best Samurai performance came from Lucas Kent.

The fifteen year-old has been steadily improving and looking for a breakthrough event, and this turned out to be his day. He started with a maximum point throw against a Cirencester player, and then followed up with two more maximum point throws against players from Abergavenny and Birmingham to book his place in the semi-final.

This was another Cirencester player and yet another maximum point throw, Lucas’s fourth of the day, saw him through to the final.

His opponent in the final was from London and a superb player and Lucas lost his first and only contest of the day, but well deserved his silver medal.