Livesey tops podium in Glasgow amongst eight medals for Great Britain

Britain’s Owen Livesey topped the podium in a strong -81kg category at the Glasgow European Judo Open today (10 October). France topped the medal table with a total of five medals including two golds. Hosts Great Britain took eight medals with the home crowd enjoying the exciting judo on show at the Emirates Arena.

The Emirate’s Arena played host to 139 competitors from 36 nations with the strongest showings coming from France, the Netherlands and Great Britain.

There was a happy return to Glasgow for Commonwealth Games champion Owen Livesey (GBR). Livesey started the day in the second round with a contest against Gadiel MIRANDA (PUR). In a battle that went the full distance, Livesey was the eventual winner, a yuko score up on his opponent. The scoreboard showed the exact same score in Livesey’s second contest, this time defeating Asaf CHEN (ISR). This victory put Livesey in the semi-finals where he faced compatriot, Stuart McWatt. Defeating the younger player, a final match up was set between Livesey and Tom Reed (GBR). The pair have faced each other in finals at the Commonwealth Games, 2015 British Open and today, where again Livesey came out on top and took the gold medal.

Speaking on his performance today Livesey said: “It’s been a long day but a good day. I wanted to come here and get the 100 points and I did that so I’m happy.

“It’s the fifth final I’ve faced Tom in a final and it’s getting closer every time. Today I managed to catch him, but Tom’s a good fighter and I’m sure I’ll meet him in a final again.

“I love fighting at home, it gives my parents, family and coaches back home the chance to come and watch, it’s great to fight in front of them.”

In the same category, junior Scottish player Stuart McWatt (GBR) put on a show for his home crowd taking the bronze medal and defeating players with greater ranking and experience.

The -60kg category saw the first of two gold medals for the Netherlands. Jeroen MOOREN won two of his four contests by ippon, defeating KABA (TUR) in the final when the Turkish fighter took four penalties. Bronze medals went to Vincent MANQUEST (FRA) and Sergio PESSOA (CAN).

France topped the medal table and their first sight of a gold was in the -66kg category when Kilian LE BLOUCH and Mathias BOUCHER faced off in the final, Le Blouch the eventual winner. Fabio BASILE (ITA) and Jasper LEFEVERE (BEL) took the bronze medals.

Guillaume CHAINE (FRA) put in a strong showing defeating four of his five opponents by ippon on his route to -73kg gold. Sam VAN T WESTENDE took the silver medal with Jorge FERNANDES (POR) and Benjamin AXUS (FRA) taking the bronze medals.

There were home competitors in every quarter-final of the -90kg category. Unfortunately none could convert their strong start into final places, but both Frazer Chamberlain (GBR) and Andrew BURNS (GBR) took home bronze medals for their efforts today. The final was a match up of Ciril GROSSKLAUS (SUI) and Colton BROWN (USA) which was won by the Swiss player by ippon.

Competing in his home city of Glasgow, Andrew Burns said: “I’m disappointed for not getting into the final but a medal is a medal and I’m really happy with what I did today.

“The 40 points I picked up today potentially put me in a qualification position for Rio, it doesn’t mean I’m going to qualify but it’s a stepping stone towards bigger and better things.”

British players were also putting in strong performances in the -100kg category, with Ben FLETCHER taking bronze and Philip AWITI-ALCARAZ missing out on gold to Michael KORREL (NED). The other bronze medal went to Vincenzo D ARCO (ITA).

A field of eight competitors were vying for the +100kg gold medal. British players dominated the repecharge contests but it was Matjaz CERAJ (SLO) who took the gold with silver awarded to Alessio MASCETTI (ITA) and bronze medals for Thormodur JONSSON (ISL) and Theodore SPALDING-MCINTOSH (GBR).

Commenting on the event, British Judo Chairman Ronnie Saez said: “I’d like to thank everybody from the EJU family, the referees, officials, volunteers, staff and the 2000 fans who traveled here today for making the event such a success. I would also like to extend my thanks to our partners EventScotland, Glasgow Life and JudoScotland for making the event such a success.”

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