Drake @ National Schools Qualifier
For the second time this year, it was time for the National Schools Qualifiers after a change to usual schedule. Whilst the young Judoka were at the competition representing their respective primary and secondary schools, they were well supported by their Drake Family with coaches Ros, Ross and Charles in attendance. 12 Judoka from Drake made the journey to Weston Super Mare for the competition, with the younger players having an early start for the 9am weigh-in. For the year 4 and 5 Judoka, the schools qualifiers is their schools competition, but for older players to qualify for the forthcoming schools competition in March they must win a medal!
Alex endured a difficult competition, competing in a Round Robin contest (Best of three), against a very competitive Judoka all the way from London. Despite great effort as usual, Alex was on the wrong side of two thunderous throws, coming away with a Silver medal.
Pheobe was in awesome and inspiring form winning all of her three contests by 2 ippon throws and a hold down a an amazing Gold medal. Hopefully a repeat will see her qualify for the Schools proper next year.
Erin, on one occasion was on the mat at the same time as her older sibling, Alanna. Erin competed well in all of her contests, but was held down in her first and narrowly lost by a shido in her second to earn a respectable Bronze medal. Alanna was up against difficult competition, winning one of her three contests to take a Bronze medal.
Maria and Lucy competed in the same group. They would compete first against one another with Maria winning by ippon throw. Maria would have a fantastic competition, winning all of her three contests. She was made to work for her wins, particularly in the second contest, but overcame her opponents and won the Gold to qualify for the Schools proper. Lucy, having had a period away from competitions is now getting back into the swing of things with two events in as many weeks. She put in a fantastic effort, and despite losing at first to Maria, won with a wonderful throw before losing the third and coming away with a nice Bronze.
Lottie's was back for another schools competition. This time round, after a initial loss, dusted herself down and produced an awesome display and fantastic ippon throw to win a silver medal and qualifying for next year’s Schools competition.
Allan and Reuben competed in a Round Robin and endured a long contest with a total of 5 fights including 2 golden score contests. This was an evenly matched affair with Allan winning the first by golden score, then Reuben fought back with an ippon hold, before then winning the next golden score and a nice golden medal. Allan can be proud of his Silver medal competing well against he more experience compatriot. Both qualify and may compete together at the schools.
Jake, as usual, was in a large group of players. Some of Jake's Judo, and particularly his ground work was awesome to watch. He would win three of his four contests, but unfortunately losing the final, but coming away with a very well earned silver medal.
Jack also competed in a large group of players, which was split into two groups, with the top two of each group going into the knock outs. Jack dominated the group stage, and won the Semi-Final, but lost the Final to a very tough opponent from the opposing group. Some wonderful judo was on display and well deserved his Silver medal for the journey.
A fantastic day all round from Drake's Judoka, with all of the players winning medals for their schools. All of the older players qualified for the National Schools competition in March next year. Hopefully a repeat from the year 5 players will see them also contesting in the National Schools in 2019. Well done to all, and great support as usual from the players, parents and coaches.