Golden couple Lewis Keeble and Nekoda Davis both rushed to victory with top podium places in Mauritius and Malaga respectively on Saturday 9 November.
Overall, Great Britain scooped one gold, three silver and a further trio of bronze medals in the sunny Indian Ocean island of Mauritius at the one day IJF African Open. Meanwhile, British judoka also took a gold, silver and two bronze medals on the first day of the European Cup in Malaga, Spain.
Keeble (-66kg) secured the biggest result of his senior career with a gold medal in Port Louis. His path to success involved a hat-trick of ippons as he triumphed over two Mauritians in the shape of Bryan Etienne and Fabrice Cataperman and then beat Siyabulela Mabulu of South Africa.
Over in Malaga, Keeble’s fiancee’ Nekoda Davis (-57kg) also seized gold. She won her first bout by waza-ari throw which she converted into a hold down to win by ippon against Spaniard Laura Bajo Borlan.
After two minutes of golden score in the next round, Davis edged through when her Egyptian opponent Aya Ghaly conceded a penalty.
The semi-final against Ana Jorge of Portugal saw Davis triumph by ippon before seizing the final victory over another Portuguese opponent Filipa Almeida with three shidos to one.
Davis said: “Having not fought a senior competition since August to concentrate on the end of my junior career, I found the competition quite challenging as my opponents were physically very strong.”
The European bronze medallist, continued:
“It has been a very happy weekend for both Lewis and I. As far as I am concerned I am happy to be winning at this level again, with this being my second senior European Cup gold, this ends the year on a high.
“As a player Lewis works immensely hard and is very deserving of his gold medal.
“I know for him there will be many more to come in the future and I look forward to what 2014 will bring for us both.”
Back in Port Louis, the Renicks sisters, Kimberley and Louise, shared silver success in the -48kg and -52kg categories, along with Katie Jemima Yeats-Brown (-63kg).
The Scottish sisters both train at Ratho in Edinburgh and have been out of action due to injuries. Louise said: “This was my first competition back since having an operation to correct a shoulder injury.
Although I felt a little rusty I am very happy with the result. It always makes me proud when we both get international results together. In the case of this competition we were both were not at our fittest.”
Kimberley added: “I am happy to get this result, especially after being off the mat for 18 weeks with a knee injury.
It is always better when we both medal.”
Jodie Mullen (-63kg), Stephanie Inglis (-57kg) and Hayley Willis (-48kg) also took bronze medals in Mauritius.
Kimberley and Louise are now looking forward to travelling on to the Oceania Open of Apia in Samoa next weekend along with Inglis and Mullen, who have also been selected, and Sophie Cox.
Back in Malaga, Jade Lewis (-52kg) took silver and Samantha Clark (-52kg) secured bronze. John Buchanan (-60kg), who recently returned to the sport at the age of 37, also gained a bronze medal, just two weeks after he achieved this same result at another European Cup in Borås, Sweden.
Both results should firmly plant him on the path towards the Commonwealth Games.
Sophie Cox (-57kg), Chloe Jackson (-52kg) and Aaron Turner (-66kg) all finished seventh.
Words by Donna Richardson.
Photo of Davis supplied by Ealing Judo Club and Keeble, Katie Jemima Yeats-Brown and the Renicks sisters courtesy of the IJF.