Report submitted by Samurai Judo Club

THE Pre-Cadets day of the Commonwealth Judo Tournament saw five of the younger Samurai players in action, after the Masters the day before when the club won a superb five medals including two golds.

The juniors were always going to be hard-pressed to live up to that, but there were some very good performances from them, and the outstanding player amongst them was 14 year-old Loic Keasey.

At 75 kilos, Loic was by far the lightest player in the over 73 kilos category, but he did not let them worry him.

In his first contest he was up against a Scottish player, who he controlled nicely and then threw for two high scores.

Next up was a very difficult Indian player, but Loic produced a superb lifting foot-sweep for a spectacular maximum point score.

This took him into the semi-finals where he had a comfortable win against an English player, throwing him first for a high score and then using his trademark throw to gain a maximum score.

Each of these players had been 10-15 kilos heavier than Loic, but all of this paled compared to the man-mountain from Cyprus who he faced in the final. This player was over 100 kilos, meaning that Loic was giving away over a third of his body weight.

Added to that was the problem that the player was also very skilful. Loic moved around, adopting hit-and-run tactics, but then he took a step in the wrong direction and his opponent threw him for maximum points, so Loic had to settle for silver.

Nevertheless, this was his greatest win to date, eclipsing the British title he won 18 months ago.

The other Samurai players fought well but did not make the medals.

Sophie Davis had a great win in her first contest against a South African, but with just 18 months judo experience in total she was unable to progress further.

James Harrison also won his first contest with a great throw, but then lost his second to an old rival and eventually lost in the repechage.

Cerys Jones looked good against the eventual silver medalist, but a single mistake eliminated her, and Harry Ashen continued to show considerable improvement and was unlucky to finish not far from the medals.

So the overall count from the Commonwealth Tournament was two gold and four silver medals for the club, one of the best hauls of medals from a British club at the event.

Meanwhile, at the recent West of England Open, four of the up-and-coming younger Samurai boys were also taking part.

Jordan Phillips took bronze in the lightest weight group, whilst a couple of weight groups above that Isaac Sobolowski and Harrison Flello also took bronzes.

Luke Phillips was in a very tough category and did well to finish seventh.