Livesey strikes gold in Chile on four medal judo weekend

Commonwealth gold medallist Owen Livesey took another brilliant gold medal at the weekend in Santiago de Chile at the Pan American Open, finishing off a fantastic weekend of judo on the first week of a three week tour.

In total, British Judo took four medals across the weekend; with three of them from Livesey’s Camberley team-mates and the other by Judo Scotland’s Connie Ramsay.

“It was great day for me,” said the -81kg judoka from Camberley, who was one of the stars of the Commonwealth Games, bettering last year’s silver medals in Buenos Aires and Montevideo.

“I got a couple of big wins and picked up some points too. Hopefully, I can keep this going in to the next two tournaments and make this tour a good one.”

For Livesey it was a waza-ari win against Luis Vega of Argentina and then an ippon against Eoin Coughlan of Austalia. But Livesey was particularly proud of his big win over Ivan Nifontov of Russia in the semi final; after leading the Russian by three shidos before he threw him for ippon.

The St Helens-born judoka went on to face Attilla Ungvari of Hungary in the final; going a waza-ari down before throwing the Hungarian for ippon.

Livesey was joined by two Camberley team mates on the same weekend as fellow Commonwealth champion Danny Williams who took bronze in the -73kg category and Frazer Chamberlain who matched his medal, bringing a haul of three medals for Great Britain and their club.

Chamberlain took an early ippon against Canadian Robert Edward in 39 seconds and then lost out to Kirill Denisov of Russia by ippon but bounced back in the repechage against Christian Schmidt of Argentina by ippon before taking bronze against Isao Cardenas of Mexico by waza-ari.

Williams took an ippon against Gabriel Diaz of Argentina and then lost out on shidos to Miklos Ungvari of Hungary. He bounced back in the repechage against Auguston Miranda of Puerto Rico by a single yuko in golden score and then snatched bronze from Alejandro Clara by ippon with a brilliant piece of ne-waza.

Connie Ramsay (-57kg) of Scotland also took a bronze medal to add to her 2013 Buenos Aires gold medal success; while Kimberley Renicks (-52kg) also of Scotland, who won the 2014 Pan American Open in Buenos Aires, also took fifth place.

Luke Preston who is out with the self-funding team, said: “I am very pleased with all the Camberley fighters performances and the GB team as a whole. We will look to build on this solid base for the competitions in Uruguay and Argentina. Fighting in this part of the world is great preparation for the Rio Games next year and the athletes are enjoying the atmosphere with a great team spirit.”

To find out how their medals were won, click here

Congratulations to Connor Ireland (-73kg), Neil Schofield (+100kg) who finished fifth at the European Judo Union (EJU) Suiss Open and Jade Lewis (-52kg) who also took a solid seventh place at the Suiss European Cup.

Full results here:

Words by Donna Richardson.