Bury Judo Club impress at prestigious national meet

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Five Bury Judo competitors made the journey to compete in the Southend International Judo Championship – one of the highlights of the competitive judo calendar.

The championships are seen as an important developmental step, particularly for the juniors, and the team put in some sterling performances.

A Bury spokesman said: “The judo displayed by all at this competition is outstanding – it is attended by competitors from all over Europe.

“We are extremely proud of all our contestants, not only for their judo but also for the support and encouragement given to their team-mates.”

The juniors were first up to fight and, despite being a noticeably smaller competitor than his rivals, Haydn Williams was determined to return home with silverware.

Being with more experienced competitors, he knew it was going to be a difficult contest and was ecstatic to be presented with a well earned bronze medal – standing on the podium alongside competitors from the Netherlands and Sweden.

Twin brother Ralph Williams had also been moved up categories for weight, grade and age but was determined to use the experience as good practice for the Antwerp International in December.

Despite fighting well, Ralph narrowly missed out on a medal – however, he can be proud of his strong and gutsy performance.

The seniors were next up; Beth O’Conner put in a strong display in the U52kg category to win an excellent silver medal.

Ben Atkinson had to wait until Sunday for his contest and was unfortunate to miss out on a medal throughout his contests fuelled with Ippons, Yukos and Waza-Aris.

Adam Hardacre had to withdraw from the championship due to injury which was unfortunate after winning his first two contests.

To try judo with Bury, please contact Roy Smith on 07961105055 or at roysmith150@btinternet.com