A small team of 7 Pre-Cadet & Cadet players from the Area traveled to France to compete at the notoriously challenging Tournoi de Maubeuge. 5 of the 7 are British Championship medalists and the other 2 British schools medalists. They standard of the tournament was outstanding and something we would be hard pressed to match in the UK across all the categories. Our young team gained a wealth of experience & gave their all with the following results:
Different systems were used for the categories. Pre-cadet girls fought pools to knockout, Pre-cadet boys & cadet girls fought knockout with compound repechage and cadet boys straight knockout.
Ryan King (Dominic King JA) – Fighting up a weight in the Pre-Cadet boys u34kg. 17 in category from France, Belgium & GBR.
Ryan had a first-round bye, followed by 2 ippon wins over Rayer (FRA) & Benacer (FRA) which secured him a place in the semi-finals, where he met Pouilly (FRA) this was an extremely tight contest with a shido a piece going in to golden score. With the home advantage against him he lost on a single shido well into the golden score period. This dropped Ryan in to the bronze medal contest where he was very unfortunate to loss the contest to Mota (FRA) on counter that was scored against him leaving him to finish in 5th place.
Niamh Southgate (Kumo JC) – Pre-Cadet girls u44kg. 16 in category from France, Belgium & GBR.
Niamh had a very rare loss in her first contest (only her 2nd loss in almost 3 years) against Fache (BEL). After re-focusing she followed this up with a very quick win over Deremetz (FRA). to see her finish 2nd in the pool & safely through to the knockout stage. In the knockout she dominated and won her next 3 contests in her usual dominant style against Chevallier (FRA), Lefevre (FRA) & Macaigne (FRA). This put her in the final where she would again meet Fache (BEL). This time the result was reversed, with Niamh winning by ippon in the opening seconds to take the Gold medal.
Jasmine Anderson (Saffron Walden JC) – Pre-Cadet girls u70kg 9 in category. France & GBR.
Jasmine made a very strong start with a quick win over Bouillant (FRA) & following a withdrawal of her 2nd opponent she topped her pool and through to the knockouts. She then received a lucky bye into the semi-final where she met the eventual gold medallist Giraud (FRA) leaving Jasmine with a bronze medal.
Eden Southgate (Kumo JC) – Cadet girls U48kg 9 in category FRA & GBR.
Eden had a tough day with decisions going against her & being overpowered by strong opposition. She lost her first in newaza after matching her opponent well, until Deversain (FRA) caught on the ground. Derversain went on to take gold. This left Eden to face Polet (FRA) in the repecharge. Eden took an early wazari lead & held on to it until the closing seconds where she again got caught on the ground. Poulet went on to take the bronze medal.
Charlie Thorp (Black Dog JC) – Cadet boys U50kg, 17 in category, FRA, BEL & GBR.
Charlie was in fine form fighting his way through an extremely strong category. He had a first-round bye, 2nd round win over Dube (FRA) and a 3rd round win over Grzesczyk (FRA). This put him in the semi final against Waizenegger (FRA). This was an epic contest with neither player giving the other an inch. With a shido a piece the contest went in to golden score with relentless attacks from both players. After nine minutes contest time it was Charlie who came out the victor by 1 shido to 3 giving him a very hard earned placed in the final where he met Silva (FRA). He was back on the mat in the just minutes after the semi, he gave a valiant performance, but did not have enough left in the tank to take the win leaving him with a great Silver medal.
Paul Cooledge (Ipswich JC) – Cadet boys U66kg, 40 in category, FRA, BEL & GBR
Paul met Matuszak (FRA) in the first round. Despite his best efforts he was unsettle his opponent. Paul then had a wait of over 2 hours while hoping his opponent reached the semi finals to give him a chance in the repechage. Unfortunately for Paul Matuszak didn’t make the semis, so Pauls day was over. Matuszak, took a further 2 wins then lost in the quarter finals. A further win in the repechage resulted in a 7th place for him.
Rory Southgate (Kumo JC) – Cadet boys U73kg, 29 in category, FRA, BEL & GBR
A great performance from Rory saw him take his first win in Europe, beating Bar (BEL) in the opening round. He then had a very narrow loss Neault (FRA) in golden score. Neault went on to win a further 2 contests & fight for bronze, finishing 5th.