James Hayes enjoyed a successful trip to Poland for the Gdynia Junior European Cup on Sunday 9 July winning a bronze medal.

The -81kg judoka was the only GB fighter to place as he won his first Junior European Cup medal and came through five contests to secure his place on the podium.

Hayes made a strong start, winning his first two fights by ippon against Portugal’s Miguel Alves and Canada’s Maxime Cote. German Duren (EST) was a tougher prospect though, having medalled in Lignano earlier this year.

However, Hayes ground out the win, taking the contest by waza-ari. Former World Cadet Championships medallist Aleksandr Cherkai (UKR) was next up in the semi-finals and the Ukrainian was just too good for the British fighter.

Cherkai did score waza-ari but was able to force Hayes into picking up three shidos to secure the contest.

Hayes came back well though in his bronze medal match against another Ukrainian judoka Stanislav Gunchenko. It was a close contest for the opening two minutes before Hayes was able to take the lead by waza-ari. In the following exchange Hayes showed some great transition work to apply the strangle and force his Gunchenko to tap out.

You can find full GB results from Poland here: http://www.ippon.org/cont_cup_jun_pol2017.php