Senior World Championships Baku Azerbaijan 20-26 Sep 18
- Nathan had a great preparation in Sydney, then Munich Germany and finally at Camberley UK, and was feeling strong for this event. He drew the very awkward and aggressive left Egyptian Abelrahman in the second round. EGY came out throwing the left arm and was penalized in the first exchange for holding the belt. EGY was quick to take the sleeve arguably with an illegal pistol grip which allowed him to continually throw his left arm pulling Nathan down and frustrating him. Nathan did well to defend but was penalized for stiff arms. Nathan dropped a Morote Seoi-Nage and EGY came back with Harai. Nathan was finally able to get the sleeve and attacked with a good spinning Tai-Otoshi which was well defended. Going for the lapel first allowed Nathan to move but getting a sleeve advantage was a challenge. Each time EGY took the sleeve, he attacked quickly forcing passivity Shido on Nathan. A couple of better exchanges for Nathan with Uchi-Mata and Tai-Otoshi but always after a frustrating battle with grips. The last exchange near full-time was another flurry of gripping by EGY with no real intention to attack and in a bizarre decision, the referee gave EGY and Shido for a grip infringement but also a Shido to Nathan for passivity. It begs the question how does an athlete attack (and then be penalised) if the opponent is gripping illegally? So ended a frustrating match and one in which Nathan was disappointed in himself with the knowledge that he could have done more. EGY won the next round to TJK and then lost against UKR in the QF. We are confident that with his high Judo level, continued experience and dedication, close encounters such as this will go in his favour in the future. Nathan arrived home a couple of days later training at the club before flying to Cancun Mexico on 9th October for a Grand Prix event on the 12th. He will be home for just over a week and then fly to Abu Dhabi for the Grand Slam, then home until the Perth Oceania Open in November. We wish him every success for these events.