Danny Williams took gold at this weekends’ Asian Judo Open in Chinese Taipei, defeating London 2012 Olympic Champion Mansur Isaev on his route to the -73kg category final. Bronze medals were also won by Tom Reed and Lewis Keeble.
Williams continued his good form from the 2015 British Open, taking his third gold medal in as many competitions. First defeating Vishal Ruhil of India by ippon, Williams then came up against the current Olympic champion, Isaev.
In a contest that went the full five minutes, it was a penalty against the Olympic champion that saw Williams progress to the semi-final where he defeated local judoka, Kai-Wen Tu by ippon. This set up a final against David Ancor of Canada. The final was over in under four minutes with an ippon win for Williams, securing the gold medal.
Speaking on the win, Williams said: “I am pleased to have picked up another 100 points towards Olympic Qualification, at another self funded event. I feel in fantastic form and I am extremely hungry to continue to push myself hard towards the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
On his contest with Olympic champion, Isaev, Williams added: “I fought Isaev at the 2011 World Championships in Paris, and it was a very close fight. I improve every week at Camberley Judo Club; technically, physically, tactically, and mentally. I knew it was going to be a tough affair but I knew I could win if I went out and physically dominated.”
Tom Reed (81kg) and Lewis Keeble (-66kg) were also amongst the medallists, both taking home bronze and further Olympic qualification points.
Keeble defeated Hyunho Jung (KOR) in his first contest of the day but lost out to Adrian Gomboc (SLO) which saw him head to repecharge. Olympic champion, Arsen Galstyan unfortunately pulled out of the repecharge contest injured, which meant Keeble progressed to compete for bronze. Taking the win from Taeho Youn of South Korea by ippon, Keeble secured his place on the medal rostrum.
Reed won his first two contests, defeating Yuxi Zhu of China and Attila Ungvari of Hungary. However, it was Srdjan Marvaljevic who came out on top in the semi-final, which meant Reed would face Eoin Coughlan of Australia for the bronze medal. Winning by ippon in 24 seconds, Reed secured the bronze medal and Olympic qualification points.
Kim Renicks (-48kg) also finished in 5th place, with Patrick Dawson (-73kg) taking a 7th place.
Congratulations to all competitors this weekend.