Nathan - Japan Training and the Asian Tour.
After the Nationals I travelled with Nathan to Japan to support him at the international training camp at the Kodokan (14 - 21 June) and a few days training at Nittai Dai University before he competed in the China (Hohhot) Grand Prix (30 June – 2 July) and training camp followed by the World Cup in Taipei (7 – 9 July). The camp was great value and put Nathan under a lot of pressure with very high level opponents. In Hohhot, Nathan’s first match was against Wawrzyczek (POL) and although perhaps a bit conservative, looked positive to take the win throughout the match. With a Shido each leading into Golden Score, the referee gave a dubious penalty for edge infringement during Nathan’s attack just 12 seconds later. In Taipei, Nathan fought the winner of 2 athletes from Taipei which he won by Ippon in Golden Score. He went on to beat the Philipino athlete by Shido in Golden Score and in the final looked like he could take the match but was caught awkwardly in transition and lost by strangle. Although he wasn’t happy with his performance, a World Cup Silver is still a great achievement.
Josh and Cameron - Train in Europe and the Junior European Cups - June - August
Josh and Cameron have been training at Camberley Judo Club in the UK leading up to the trio of Junior European Cups in Paks, Hungary (15 – 16 July), Prague, Czech Republic (22 – 23 July) and Berlin, Germany (29 – 30 July), each followed by a training camp. Kyle was selected to this tour but an injury sustained during the Nationals meant he had to withdraw. Josh had two good wins out of 4 in Paks, the first against the Austrian who beat Hungary in the first round. He then drew the eventual gold medalist from Italy and was caught early for wazari but then dominated the whole match unlucky not to get back the score. In repechage he beat Romania but was caught early against another Hungarian. In such a large division, the 2 wins placed him 9th. Athletes in smaller divisions could win 2 matches and medal so it’s really division by division. Cameron experienced his first Junior European Cup competition and went the distance losing by wazari. Unfortunately his opponent lost his next match putting Cam out. Josh injured his shoulder at the camp held after the competition and had to withdraw from the second competition in Prague. At that event, Cam lost by wazari and hold-down half way through to the Portugese who had beaten Estonia in the first round. Unfortunately, POR lost his next round putting Cam out. Josh’s shoulder recovered and he could do part of the camp in Prague and will compete in Berlin 29th July. Nathan will be in Berlin to support Josh and will participate in the training camp which follows. Cam returns 28th July and has had a great experience on his fIrst big training and competition block in Europe.
Saskia – Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas – 19 – 23 July
Saskia did well to be selected to the CYG. Saskia’s first round opponent missed weight so her first match was the semi-final against an English girl who had beaten Barbados. She lost that match in the last 15 seconds but fought hard and then in repechage was looking good against India going into Golden score. Unfortunately she was caught in an aggressive exchange pushing forward for a throw. So no placing this time but a great experience of a multi-sport event.