Petersen-Pollard becomes Junior European Champion while Moorhead claims bronze

On day two of the Junior European Championships in Vantaa, Finland, Kelly Petersen-Pollard (-70kg) became Junior European Champion while Lachlan Moorhead (-81kg) won bronze.

Sutton Coldfield’s Petersen-Pollard, who entered the Championships as the top seeded player, had a bye in the opening round before defeating Mina-Agneta Ricken (GER) and Lara Kliba (CRO) to win her Pool and progress to the semi finals where she faced 2018 Junior European Championship bronze medallist Mariam Tchanturia (GEO). With the scores level after 2-minutes of Golden Score, it was Petersen-Pollard who progressed to the final courtesy of a koshi jime.

Standing between Petersen-Pollard and her first European title was the 2019 European Youth Olympic Festival and 2019 Cadet European Champion, Ai Tsunoda-Roustant (ESP). Petersen-Pollard showed her class in defeating her opponent in under 60-seconds to win the gold and claim her first European title.

Moorhead, from Penistone, also had an opening round bye and was drawn a tough opening match against Junior world no.9 Giga Abuashvili (FRA). A waza-ari in the final 10seconds of the match saw Moorhead progress to face home athlete, Oskari Makinen (FIN). Victory saw Moorhead progress to the quarter-final to face Tato Grigalashvili (GEO), defending Junior European silver medallist and multiple senior Grand Slam and Grand Prix medallist. Unfortunately, the experience of the Georgian saw him win the match and progress to the semi-finals, while Moorhead was progressed to the Repechage where a bye in his match against Giacomo Gamba (ITA) set up a bronze medal match against Alex Barto (SVK). With the scores tied after the allocated 4-minutes and the match entering Golden Score, it was Moorhead who was able to find a winning score to win bronze and record the best result of his career to date.

Petersen-Pollard’s gold and Moorhead’s bronze medals today in addition to the bronze won by Yasmin Javadian (-52kg) yesterday, brings to a close a great Championships for British Judo.