Great Britain was in the medals, with a lucky seven podium finishes as English, Welsh and Scottish judo players came together to fight under one flag during the Junior European Cup in Coimbra, Portugal this weekend.
There was success for GB’s heavyweights as JudoScotland’s Valentino Volante took the +100kg gold medal, while England’s Jodie Myers (+78kg) gained gold on Sunday 16 March 2014. Volante’s path to the top of the podium involved two successive ippons over Portuguese players beating Vasco Rompao in the final and Myers four ippon wins including a final victory over home judoka Elsa Mendes.
The same day saw two more bronze medals gained by Ebony Drysdale-Daley (-70kg) winning by waza-ari over Evelien Berndsen of the Netherlands and George Smith taking -90kg bronze against Pedro Silva of Portugal with a two waza-ari’s to win while already two yuko’s up.
Along with Saturday’s three bronze medals, in the shape of Eric Ham (-66kg), Bekky Livesey (-57kg) and Sam Hall (-60kg), this took the tally to a lucky number seven.
Ham in particular continued his form with another bronze medal win whilst still a cadet. He won five out of six fights, suffering a defeat to the eventual gold medal winner, losing 2-1 on penalties.
Livesey won by ippon in her bronze medal match against Madeline Rubinstein of Norway while Hall claimed ippon over Joao Abreu in his opponents’ native Portugal.
Over the weekend there were fifth place finishes for Connor Ireland (WelshJudo), Chelsie Giles (-52kg), Daniel Powell (-60kg), Emma Reid (-70kg) and Lulu Piovesana (-63kg).
Words by Donna Richardson.