10 Camberley fighters competed in British Open European Cup

Posted 07/06/12

The British Open was a long anticipated tournament, the last event to be used for consideration in the Olympic selections, there was a fantastic crowd which included a strong CJC contention of parents and mini CJC warriors. The atmosphere in the stadium was that of excitement and tension and the nerves were palpable, everyone was looking forward to a spectacular and emotional day of Judo.
On the Saturday our lightest male competitors were Nathon Burns and Aaron Turner in -66kg. Nathon won this event in 2011 so he was hoping for a repeat performance in 2012. Unfortunately Vadud Balatkhanov from Finland had other ideas and defeated Nathon in a tough 1st match of the day that went the full 5 minutes.  Aaron still finding his feet at this level of senior competition lost to a Dutch competitor Jeffrey Krabb but gained some good experience.
In -73kg we had British number one Danny Williams. Danny has won a European Cup event before so again was hoping for a repeat performance. Danny progressed past Sergio Sanz Perez of Spain in the 1st round before defeating British fighter Sam O’Loughlin in the 2nd round. Next he faced Belgium Ken Kennes, the fight went to time with Danny winning on a 7 point score and moving him into the quarter final against Augusto Meloni from Italy. Williams lost controversially from a referee interpretation, this put him out of the tournament.
Sam Lowe had a point to prove at -78kg, a medal was critical for a chance of Olympic selection. She started the day off well defeating Miriam Dunkel of Germany by a hold down half way into the contest. Next up was French fighter Geraldine Mentouopou, a momentary loss of balance from Lowe saw her caught for a 10 point throw and drop down into the repechage where she faced Marta Tort Merino of Spain. Sam fought tactically and won on 2 penalty points bringing her one step closer to the bronze medal and up against German rival Jana Stucke. Her day was brought to an end here though, losing by hold down and finishing with a 7th place.
Rounding off the 1st day of competition was prestigious fighter Karina Bryant in +78kg. After a shaky start losing to Carolin Weiss of Germany, Karina found her form in the repechage beating a Polish fighter and then Rebecca Ramanich of France for the bronze medal.
Day two of the British Open and Camberley had 4 fighters aiming to add to Karina’s bronze medal the previous day. Sophie Johnstone competed in -57kg but despite fighting well she didn’t progress out of the 1st round losing to a Swiss girl, a similar fate for Matt Clempner in +100kg, he lost to a Polish fighter. Determined to join the medal ranks like his training partner Karina, Frazer started confidently and fought hard to defeat Bas Rosenmuller of Holland. But no medal this time as he then lost to British rival Michael Horley.
Last but not least was Tom Davis in -81kg, hoping a good performance could secure the Olympic reserve spot behind Euan Burton, the pressure was on. Tom stormed through his first 3 fights beating an Italian, Dutch and then Russian to place himself in the semi final against British fighter David Groom. Tom over powered Groom and won on a 5 point score to claim his spot in the final. Long time adversary Tom Reed also vying for the Olympic reserve spot progressed to the final on the other half making for an intense no holds barred fight. Camberley’s Tom Davis was victorious and defeated the Bath fighter to win the gold medal and hopefully the Olympic reserve spot. Well done!