Gemma to Inspire Young Judoka at London Youth Games

British Judo Ambassador and Olympic Silver medallist Gemma Gibbons will host the Balfour Beatty London Youth Games judo finals taking place at Crystal Place National Sports Centre this Saturday (June 22) as patron of the event.

The event will see more than 500 judoka from around the capital and its boroughs in action including a large portion of BJA athletes.

As one of British Judo’s shining stars of the London 2012 Games, Gemma won a silver medal for Great Britain during London 2012, but she is also a former London Youth Games competitor in judo. Fellow competitors at the LYG include Ashley McKenzie, Karina Bryant and Winston Gordon.

Now a GB Squad member Gemma competed for Greenwich in the 2001 London Youth Games in judo and she will be hoping that her presence can inspire her home borough to match their performances last year where the girls’ team won gold and the boys’ came second to Wandsworth.

Having won for three years before Greenwich’s triumph in 2012, Sutton will be desperate to get back to the top of the podium in the girls’ competition.

2012 silver medallists Hillingdon will also be looking to go one better having been in the top three for the last two years and will be looking to knock the champions off their perch.
In the boys’ competition, champions Wandsworth will be looking to make it four titles in as many years though they will have to see off the challenge of Greenwich who will want to match the gold of their girls’ team.

The two boroughs have finished in the top two spots for the last two years and will likely fight it out for gold again though you cannot discount the challenge of Sutton who have finished in the top three in recent years and last year’s bronze medallists Enfield.

All of 20 boys representing the BJA are from the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

In Section A, Group 1 are Liam Smith (-30.5kg), Jack Turucz (30.5-34.5 kg), Callum Brown (30.5-34.5kg) and Aaron Odwyer (42.5-46.5kg).

In Section B, Group 3 are: Anthony McCuish (-35.5kg), Lee Harris (38.5-42.5kg), Callum Charlton (46.5-50.5kg), Euan Bagnall Taylor (50.5-55.5kg), Alfie Macalister (50.5-55.5kg), Alfie Manchester (66.5-73.5kg), Cameron Belcher (73.5+kg), Luke Djizo (73.5+kg) and Thomas Morris (73.5+kg).

In Section C Group 4 are Harley Bagnall-Taylor (73.5+kg), while in Section B Group 5 is Jack Mcalister (55.5-60.5kg), Ellis Young (50.5-55.5kg), Peter Davis (60.5-66.5kg), Joe Charlton (73.5-81.5kg), Peter Morris (81.5-90.5kg) and Danny Osbourne (90.5+kg)

GB team member Reece Sandy, competing in section C, group 6, under 66kg will be one to watch out for, with an impressive record which includes Gold at the Commonwealth U20 Championships in Cardiff.

The following 12 BJA girls representing Greenwich include:

Section A, group 1 are: Skye Smith (-32.6kg), Elysia Becher (40.6-44.6kg), Grace McDonnell (52.6-57.6kg), Jessie Payne (52.6-57.6kg), Cameron Kemp (57.6+kg), Section B Group 3 Samantha Cabell (44.6-48.6kg), Mercedes Meadows (48.6-52.6kg), Victoria Morris (63.6-70.6kg), Chloe Bushell (70.6+kg),

In Section B, Group 4 is Chloe Poole (63.6-70.6kg), while Section C, group 5 consists of Sudesna Shrestha (44.6-48.6kg) and Lily Fitzgerald (63.6-70.6kg).

Gemma will host all three medal ceremonies. Section A commences at 12.30pm, Section B at 2pm and Section C at 4pm.

She will also host a TweetChat on the day from 3pm. Anyone with a twitter account can fire questions at her for 30 minutes. For details and to follow all the action visit Twitter @ldnyouthgames.

Words by Donna Richardson