NICK Deeley and Edward Martin headed the Samurai challenge with gold medals at the club’s open Mini-Me Championships for young junior beginners.

Finn Doherty, in his first competition, opened the scoring for the club with a bronze after losing to a London player in the semi-final of his category. The London club were beginning to race ahead of the other twenty clubs at the event by winning gold in the first three categories of the day, but then up stepped Nick Deeley. Just eight years old and in his third competition, the super-keen youngster scored three maximum point wins to reach the final of his category against another of the Londoners, but he dominated the final and his opponent picked up a penalty to give Nick the win andn his first gold medal.

A little further on, Archie Minkin was also making his competition debut and started well with a win against a Cirencester player. A more experienced Birmingham player later ended Archie’s chances of reaching the final, but he came back well to win the bronze.

Edward Martin was the last of the Samurai boys to compete. He had the longest contest of the day, a six-minute match against a Halesowen player which he eventually won on a tie-break, then saw off a Ludlow player by maximum points to reach the final against a Berkshire player. Edward was now well into his stride and he secured the gold medal after just 14 seconds of the final with a maximum point throw.

In the girls categories, Lola Black was also making her competition debut and fought well to earn a bronze medal. In the next category up, Megan Burford and Hannah Palmer were both beating Welsh players to reach the semi-final against each other. Megan won that match but then lost the final against a much heavier Worcester girl, whilst Hannah came back to win the bronze.

This Sunday, the Samurai are holding their 40th anniversary get-together at their purpose-built Zortech Avenue premises. All former members are invited as well as current members. Starts 9.30 am on the mat.

For details about starting judo, telephone 0776 1122977 or visit the Samurai website on or their Facebook page.