JACK Walker from Samurai Judo Club not only took the gold medal at the British Schools Championships but completed all the requirements for his black belt at the same time.

Walker, 16, from Worcester’s Tudor Grange Academy, had just over 30 players in his category. He started comfortably with a maximum point throw win against a London player, then had a much more experienced player from northern home counties but defeated him comfortably, again by maximum points, this time from a throw into a hold.

This put him into the semi-finals against a Manchester player. This contest went on for some time but it was always Jack in charge and it was only a question of when the decisive throw would come. In the end it was just before the end of the four minutes normal time when Jack secured the win.

The semi-final was against a Wolverhampton player, an experienced competitor again but Jack was always in control, pushing his opponent onto the defensive. Eventually the other player received three penalties for passivity which put Jack into the final.

The final was against a player from Belfast, but again Jack was in command from the start. He came close to throwing several times before going a score up, and then produced a maximum point throw just after three minutes to win the contest and the title of British Schools Champion.

Jack had already clocked up 90 of the 100 points he needed for his black belt and four wins by maximum points against senior brown belts at this event took him to well over the 100 mark. He had completed his theory assessment two weeks ago and so can now wear the coveted black belt. His first national success was silver at the British Championships in 2014, he took bronze at this event two years ago and last November he took two bronzes at an international event in Holland, but this is his first British title.

Since the British Schools Championships re-started in 2010, it has been a happy hunting ground for Samurai, who have won 14 golds and 25 silvers and bronzes at the event. Last year Jake Ashen took gold at the event.

This year he had over 20 players in his category again, but it was tougher for him because he has moved to a new age band. Nevertheless he had three good wins on his way to the semi-final, but was unlucky to lose there and for the bronze. Luke Phillips, making his debut at this level, also had a good go.

At the Samurai Girls Mini-Me Open, Samurai had three girls making their competition debuts, though unfortunately all in the same category. However, all three make a very impressive start to their judo careers. Megan Burford just stormed through the one quarter of the draw with three excellent wins to reach the semi-final, whilst Hannah Palmer was also doing far better than would be expected from a player of her experience to also reach the semi-final, and Sophia Rose, an exceptional talent, just cruised through her first three opponents to also reach the semi-final. After a very close battle, Hannah lost her semi-final against a Welsh girl, whilst Megan gave Sophia a good contest before Sophia gained another maximum point throw to reach the final. Megan and Hannah went on to win well deserved bronzes, whilst Sophia swept easily past the Welsh girl in the final to take the gold medal, undoubtedly the first of many for her.

Last up was Olivia Leung. Still only in her second competition, Olivia is already noted for her determined attitude and this served her well against some older and bigger girls. She reached the semi-final before losing to a girl from Newbury in Buckinghamshire, but then came back to beat a Worcester girl with a very good throw to win the bronze.

All of these girls attend the Samurai’s Friday night beginners section, which has a 5.45-6.45 class for 6-8 year olds with coaches Sue Hancocks and Jess Sullivan, and a 6.45-8.00 session for 9-13 year-olds with coaches Ali Lane, Mike Chamberlain and Mark Allen. Both sessions do have vacancies for newcomers, for details telephone 0776 1122977 or visit the Samurai website on www.samurai.org.uk or their Facebook page.