European Cadet Championships: Day 2 review

Today saw the remaining 9 British Judo Cadets take to the mats against some of Europe’s top youth talent in day two of the European Cadet Championships in Warsaw.

Isobel Kitchen (-57kg) defeated EST’s Vilena Arshakyan in the opening round to set up a 2nd round match against world number 4, ROU’s Florentina Ivanescu. Ranked 67th in the world, Kitchen was facing a hugely experienced opponent and despite battling hard, was defeated by the Romanian. By virtue of Ivanescu winning the Pool, Kitchen was progressed to the Repechage where she faced world number 23, KOS’s Fationa Kasapi. Kasapi’s experience proved too much for Kitchen as she was defeated by her Kosovan opponent.

Shaun Malazarte (-66kg) was the final British Judo athlete to take to the mats following an opening round bye. He defeated MDA’s Vlad Palamarciuc to set up a 3rd round match against world number 10, UKR’s Rostyslav Berezhnyi. Despite the world rankings separating the two athletes by 146 places, Malazarte took the fight to his opponent, but was unfortunately defeated by the Ukrainian’s vast experience. Berezhnyi later progressed to win the Pool meaning Malazarte was advanced to the Repechage where he faced AZE’s Matin Rzazde. Despite a closely contested match, Rzazde was able to find a winning score to defeat Malazarte.

Niamh Southgate (-52kg) had a bye in the opening round before defeating POL’s Alicja Oldak to set up a 3rd round match against world number 6, RUS’s Mariam Amkhadova. Ranked 146 places behind her Russian opponent it was always going to be a tough match for Southgate who was eventually beaten by her hugely experienced competitor.

Ethan Nairne (-66kg) defeated LTU’s Pijus Mikalauskas in the opening round to set up a 2nd round contest against world number 12, AZE’s Nahid Ismayilov. Despite being ranked 93 places behind his opponent in the world rankings, this did not faze Nairne who took the fight to his vastly experienced opponent, however Ismayilov’s experience eventually told as he claimed the victory.

Leah Grosvenor (-57kg) was narrowly defeated by RUS’s world number 6 Natalia Elkina in the opening round of the -57kg category, in a match that surpassed the 4-minute mark of Golden Score. With two Shido’s to both athlete’s names, it was Grosvenor that was drawn into conceding a third Shido and ultimately lost the contest.

Ryan Rijksen-Salman (-73kg) had a bye in the opening round and found himself drawn against world number 5, CZE’s Filip Ivanka in the 2nd round, an athlete ranked 88 places ahead of the Briton in the world rankings. Rijksen-Salman battled hard against his world class opponent, forcing the match the Golden Score, but the experience of the Czech athlete prevailed late on.

Following a bye in the opening round Scotland’s David Somerville (-73kg) was drawn against a hugely superior oppenent in DEN’s David Ivanian, a player ranked 131 places ahead of the Briton in the world rankings. Somerville fought well but was eventually defeated by his vastly experienced opponent in the 2nd round.

Following an opening round bye, Tatum Keen (-52kg) was drawn against ISR’s Romi Dori. With just 5 world ranking places between the two, it was always destined to be a closely contested match. The match entered Golden Score and Dori was able to find a winning score to progress to the 2nd round.

Grace Griffith (-63kg) was drawn against HUN’s Dorina Sipos in her opening round, an athlete ranked 40 places ahead of her in the world rankings. Despite battling hard, Griffith was defeated by her more experienced Hungarian opponent.

That brings a close to British Judo interest at the Cadet European Judo Championships in Warsaw. The Championships form part of the British Judo Cadet ID list that is used to identify athletes for the GB Cadet Futures Training Camp which will be held in October. Around 10 Cadets will travel to Tokyo to attend a training camp where they have a mixture of technical training at the Kodokan and at schools around Tokyo.