GB Juniors Shine in Kaunas With Triple Bronze Haul

Henry Wakes (-66kg), Jasmine Hacker-Jones (-52kg), Lachlan Moorhead (-81kg) all claimed bronze for GB Judo at the Kaunas Junior European Cup in Lithuania over the weekend.

In his first international competition since finishing 7th at the Glasgow European Open in October 2018, Wakes overcame Omer Man (ISR) in round 1, by ippon score, before dispatching of Dmitrii Kurdiumov (RUS) just outside 40 seconds in round 2 (ippon). Round 3 saw Wakes face Dzmitry Muzhaila (BLR), which he again beat by an ippon score. The quarter-final was a closely contested affair with Wakes and Natanel Zhurvel (ISR) battling it out for 6 minutes before Wakes, again, overcame his opponent by an ippon score. In the semi-final Wakes faced eventual silver medallist Adam Batsiev (SUI) and was defeated by an ippon score. Wakes claimed bronze by throwing Orlando Cazorla (FRA) in the bronze medal fight to win by an ippon score. The gold medal was won by World Number 11 Artjoms Galaktionovs of Latvia. This was Wakes first medal at the European Cup as his previous best performance was 5th at the Paks Junior European Cup in July 2018.

World number 55, Moorhead had a bye in his 1st round and made quick work of dispatching of his round 2 opponent, Dziania Murankov (BLR), in under 50 seconds. Round 3 saw Moorhead defeat Deivid Matusevic (LTU) by an ippon score. The quarter-final was a closely contested affair between Moorhead and Maxime-Gael Ngayap-Hambou (FRA), with Moorhead eventually prevailing after 5 minutes by ippon score. The semi-final saw Moorhead endure another 5-minute match against eventual silver medallist, Simon Gautschi(SUI). Fired up by missing out on the gold medal fight, Moorhead threw Aleksejs Zarudnevs (LAT) in under 40 seconds in the bronze medal match. This bronze medal adds to the bronze Moorhead won at Coimbra Junior European Cup in March 2019.

Welsh judo and European Youth Olympic Festival representative, Hacker-Jones, had a straight forward victory over Vaidile Slapkauskaite (LTU) in round 1, however her 2nd round match against Sofia Asvesta (CYP) was far from that. After 10 minutes the players could not be separated, before Hacker-Jones eventually prevailed by ippon score. The quarter-final match saw Hacker-Jones face Nadezda Petrovic (SRB), but the exploits of her previous match were still evident as she was defeated after 5 minutes of closely contested fighting by a waza-ari. In the repechage round 2 Hacker-Jones defeated Iga Sienkiewicz (POL), and in repechage round 3 Beyza Ozdemir (TUR) both by ippon score. In the Bronze medal match Hacker-Jones faced Rachel Van De Meeberg (NED) who she defeated by ippon score. The gold medal was won by World Number 1 Annika Wurfel of Germany. This was Hacker-Jones’s first medal at European Junior Cup level after moving up from the Cadet age group in 2018.

Sian Bobrowska (-48kg) and Oliver Barratt (+100kg) narrowly missed out on medals finishing 5th and 7th respectively.