The second day of the 2015 British Open saw action from the remaining six categories in the SSE Arena, Wembley. The home crowd was kept happy with three of the gold medals taken by British players.
The first medal of the day was taken by Stuart MCWATT in the -81kg category with a bronze medal. British rivals, Tom REED and Owen LIVESEY faced off in the final to battle for the gold medal. It was the fourth time in six months that they have come up against each other in finals. Livesey arrived to the Arena in style and delivered some astonishing throws throughout the day, which he continued in the final. After an intense opening two minutes, Livesey threw Reed for waza-ari before following up with a yuko to bow off the tatami as winner of the -81kg category.
This is the first time that Livesey has won a British Open title, having won bronze in 2013. Owen Livesey said: “I am happy with my performance today. I have been training really hard and this is my first gold at the British Open so I am really pleased… It is always nice to fight front of the home crowd as you can have your family come and watch, which is most of the time difficult as we spend a fair amount of time abroad… I’ve fought Tom four times already this year but I knew what I had to do to win and I just focused on my tactics and did it.”
British athletes dominated the rostrum of the -70kg category. Bronze medals were taken by Emma REID and Jemima YEATS-BROWN, with the final left to a long battle between team mates, Megan FLETCHER and Gemma HOWELL. A single shido difference in the third minute of golden score was all the difference between the two, and saw Howell take the top spot on the podium.
British Judo Centre of Excellence player, George SMITH booked himself a spot on the rostrum with a bronze medal in the -90kg category. In the final of the -90kg category another British battle was on show, with Andrew BURNS and Frazer CHAMBERLAIN taking to the mat. Burns’ had battled his way to the final, defeating opponents from Switzerland and the Netherlands on his route to the final. It was his ne-waza skills that helped him to take the final victory after holding down Chamberlain for the full 20 seconds.
It was down to the -100kg category to deliver the last and final match of the day. Both Ben FLETCHER and Adam HALL took the bronze medals. Domenico DI GUIDA (ITA) was to challenge Philip AWAIT-ALCARAZ for gold. Both players were head to head with a single shido on each side before the Italian fighter ended the contest with a stunning ippon worthy throw.
Theo SPALDING-MCINTOSH took the silver medal in the +100kg category winning three of his four contests. KRIVICKIJ of Germany topped the pool table to take the gold medal. Neil SCHOFIELD took the bronze medal.
Players will continue on their road to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with the Grand Slam, Tymen 2015 next weekend.
Follow @BritishJudo on twitter and facebook to relive the highlights from today’s action.