Gendros Judo Club youngsters star in France

Two young judo aces from Gendros Judo Club in Swansea are celebrating after coming out with a gold and bronze medal against the world’s top young judoka at the Harnes International in France on Saturday 10 December.

The competition is one of the biggest pre-cadet events on the circuit and attracted judoka from USA, Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Serbia, Norway and hosts France.

William Jones, 13, led the way as he won all six fights to take gold in the -46kg category which featured 45 competitors.

The Welsh ace defeated Norway’s Paul Zanconelli in the opening round before triumphing over France’s Yvan Berclaz.

William followed up with wins over fellow French opposition Antho Queneutte and Heckman Valenti to book a semi-finalist against another home judoka in Romain Deruyter.

After reeling off five hugely impressive victories Jones produced one more as he saw off Ralph Hoogeboom to take gold.

Joshua O’Connor, 13, son of club coach Mark, won four of his five fights in the -50kg category to take a very creditable bronze medal.

Joshua lost his first contest to eventual gold medallist Coen Van Winden of the Netherlands before bouncing back to take victory against France’s Mehdi Mebrak.

A win over Ferre Van Eynde of the Netherlands followed before Joshua sealed a bronze medal fight by defeating Pierrick Flahaut of France.

In the bronze medal contest the Welsh youngster defeated France’s Theo Le Franc to take an impressive place on the medal podium.

The club’s final representative, Conor Payne, 13, lost out to eventual bronze medallist Fares Masclef of France in the first round of the -55kg category.

Gendros Judo Club train at Gendros Community Centre, Swansea, SA5 8DP on a Monday and Friday at 18:45 – 20:15.