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Seven-up for the super Samurai
11:00am Thursday 3rd May 2012 in Sport
SAMURAI Judo Club returned from a two-day trip to Belgium with seven international medals.
The weekend started on Saturday at the Antwerp Open, where 12-year-old Bryony Griffiths was first on the mat and she started well with a fine win in her first international contest.
She carried on to the semi-final where she was caught with a good throw and sustained an shoulder injury which ruled her off of the rest of the competition. However, as she was already in the bronze medal position, she came away with a medal.
Fourteen-year-old Frankie Marston was next up and won her first three contests comfortably to reach the final, where she lost to a Dutch opponent.
Brendan Crummy, 16, also started well with a series of wins carrying him into the final against a Belgian player who caught him with an excellent throw, to end with silver.
Charis Hancocks, 17, was last to compete on Saturday and faced a tough group.
Her first contest was the toughest of all, against the eventual gold medalist, but Hancocks produced what was undoubtedly the throw of the weekend to defeat her second level black belt opponent by maximum points.
However, she then dropped a clanger in her next contest and this ended her chances of making the final, while the player she had earlier beaten went on to take the gold.
The Samurai student bounced back decisively win her last contest, again by maximum points, to take the bronze.
On Sunday, Samurai moved on to the Eernegum Open, near Brugge.
Griffiths was unable to compete because of her shoulder, but Nancy Palfreyman stepped into make her debut and went onto win bronze.
Marston and Hancocks moved up a weight category and found the extra strength of the very physical Belgian and French players difficult to handle, but both ended up winning bronze medals to add to their haul.
Crummy reached the last 16 before losing narrowly to a very strong Belgian player who went on to win the silver.
This left the 16-year-old needing three more wins to take the bronze and he won the first two of these in spectacular fashion.
In the final bronze contest he quickly gained a high score and then added a second score to it, but then allowed his opponent to get too close and was caught by a maximum point throw which cost him the contest and the medal.