British judoka had a day to remember at the 2016 Glasgow European Open as they topped the medal table with 10 medals including four golds.
A large and very passionate crowd filled the Emirates Arena on Saturday 15 October and they were treated to a great day’s judo.
In the morning session Kelly Edwards proved to be a crowd favourite in the -52kg category with her attacking style of judo really getting the crowd going.
Edwards came through a tough first fight against Brazil’s Layana Colman before some strong newaza finished off Myriam Blavier (BEL). This setup an epic semifinal against Amandine Buchard (FRA), a former World bronze medallist, with both judoka all tied up at the end of regulation time. Roared on by the home crowd Edwards was able to see off Buchard just under five minutes into golden score.
In the final the British fighter went behind by yuko before throwing her opponent, Raquel Silva of Brazil, for ippon to the delight of the crowd.
Speaking afterwards Edwards was delighted to get her first European Open gold and her fourth medal in a row this year.
“It’s great to compete on home turf, in front of family and friends and it’s my first gold at a European Open so I’m really chuffed about that.”
She was joined at the top of the podium in the morning session by Lucy Renshall (-63kg) who picked up her second European Open gold of the year after the Tallinn European Open last month. Renshall wasn’t scored on throughout and looked very comfortable in her gold medal match as she saw off Nadja Bazynski (GER).
Glasgow boy Neil MacDonald was also in the medals as he took home bronze at -60kg with some lovely throws exciting the crowd throughout. After losing a close quarter-final he come back well through the repechage before a lovely bit of ashi-waza gave him the win over Philip Graf (GER).
In the afternoon Max Stewart (-90kg) continued his development at his new weight as he won his first senior world ranking gold. Stewart went behind by shido to Conrad Hannes (GER) before a yuko score late on give him the win. He proved too strong for Brazil’s Eduardo Faria in his next contest before he showed his tactical nous to see off fellow GB judoka Gary Hall in the semi-finals.
Another GB judoka Frazer Chamberlain would stand in his way in the final but Stewart took the win with some lovely judo as he went ahead by waza-ari before a superb drop attack give him the ippon score and the gold.
Speaking afterwards Stewart said:
“I’m really happy. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. There’s stuff I still need to work on and I wasn’t happy with today but overall I think it was a good performance from me today.”
There was another GB gold medallist in the final block as Jemima Yeats-Brown won another all-British gold medal match at -70kg as some superb newaza gave her the win over Ebony Drysdale-Daley. Earlier on Yeats-Brown’s had proven too strong for Sandra Lickun (POL) and Gabriella Willems (BEL).
Gary Hall might have missed out on the final but made up for any disappoint with bronze at -90kg as he beat another GB fighter in Sam Potts. Jodie Myers (+78kg) and Adam Hall (-100kg) completed the medal winning haul for the day with bronze in their respective weight classes.