The GB Judo VI Team made a strong start to 2018 with five medals at the 2018 VI German Open in Heidelberg on Saturday 10 February.
Jack Hodgson was the standout performer on the day as he won gold at +100kg. The 2015 World Games silver medallist was in outstanding form as he won all but one of his five fights by ippon.
In his second contest he took on Brazil’s Wilians Silva de Araujo, the Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallist, and finally secured his first win as he threw his opponent with a lovely kosoto.
This result all but guaranteed Hodgson’s gold medal as he proved too good for the rest of his opponents on the day.
There was also a gold at -100kg for current IBSA European Champion Chris Skelley. The Hull judoka went in as favourite and backed up his seeding as he put in a clinical performance.
Russia’s Anatolii Shevchenko was dispatched by Skelley’s improving tachiwaza while USA duo of Richard Ties and Ben Goodrich had no answer for the British judoka’s world-class newaza.
There was a silver medal at -70kg for Natalie Greenhough with the British fighter responding well to an early defeat by Rio 2016 medallist Alana Marins Maldanado (BRA).
In her next fight Greenhough was too good for Russia’s Alexandra Dunayeva, winning by ippon and securing the silver medal.
At -81kg Daniel Powell made a successful return to international competition with bronze. The London 2012 Paralympian lost out in the quarter-finals to Shamil Magomedov (RUS) and dropped into the repechage.
Powell showed his determination as he beat home judoka Tim Melchert (GER) before getting past Saado Abdurakhmano (RUS) in the bronze medal contest.
Young Welsh judoka Sam Price claimed a hard-earned Junior -60kg silver coming through six fights in total. Price finished second in his pool behind Adrian Toboadella (ESP) which meant he had to come through a longer route for a chance of being in the final.
Going into the knockout stages, Price first beat Swedish judoka John Segersten before getting the better of Angel Guaita (ESP) in the semis.
The final was a rematch of his pool stage contest with Toboadella but once again it was the Spanish judoka who came out on top to win.