SAMURAI Judo Club's Loic Keasey secured a gold medal at the English Open Championships.

The event was organised by Samurai and is one of the biggest one-day judo events in the domestic calendar. This was the seventh time they have been chosen to host such an event but the entry of 475 players was the biggest for a one-day national or below national event for many years.

In addition to running the event, Samurai fielded four players.

Jake Ashen was one of 30 players in the under 60 kilos category and fought really well, including defeating a very good London player before eventually being eliminated by a Scot.

James Harrison, in the under 66 kilos weight group, which was also a large group, lost his first contest after making a mistake against a Rochdale player he would normally expect to beat, and this left him with a long trek in the repechage for the bronze medal.

He won a series of contests to get himself into the bronze contest against a player from Liverpool, but in that match was countered twice and had to settle for fifth place.

Cerys Jones, in the girls under 57 kilos category, reached the quarter-finals before losing to a Scottish player against the run of play. She too now had to win a series of contests in the repechage to get the bronze, and got some way along this path before losing to another Scot and finishing seventh.

However, Loic Keasey looked on imperious form. At 69 kilos, he was in the over 66 kilos category and up against some massive players, but he just looked unstoppable.

A 91 kilo player from the east of England was thrown for maximum points with a spectacular shoulder throw, an 81 kilo player was taken back with a superb feint into a backward throw and the final was just 33 seconds old when Loic dispatched his Scottish opponent with another great throw to take the gold medal.

Over sixty of the club’s members worked at the event in one capacity or another, including the tournament director and her team, refereeing, running the control tables, the entire first aid team and even with the young juniors acting as camera operators.