TTC's Rowan Lockyear and Henry Spooner both took a big step towards the top over Easter, competing at the Sportif International Judo Competition in Edinburgh.
Competing in a new weight division, Lockyear faced a field of international players that he had little knowledge of, but equally they knew little of him other than his reputation from his previous weight. With a first round bye, the second round was a confident start, beating his opponent in a matter of 20 seconds with ippon seoi nage (shoulder throw) for maximum points.
The quarter finals saw two brilliant counter attacks to take another win, then the Semi Final against the British number four saw Lockyear take his opponent apart with two excellent Tia Otoshi techniques (body drop throw) to earn a place in the final against the British number one. Whilst putting in a strong performance, he was unable to get the better of his opponent and had to settle for Silver.
The Year 11 student had been working his way up the rankings in the 60kg division and the move up a weight to 66kg means that he can only retain half of his previous ranking points, but with the points collected at the weekend, he is now placed 7th in Britain.
Year 7, Henry Spooner had his best competition result to date, taking the Bronze in a very tough division. A confident throw and hold in his first contest saw him face an opponent in the quarter finals that he has lost to on the previous three occasions. Having prepared well tactically, Spooner made short work of his nemesis, throwing him in just five seconds for maximum points.
A loss to the eventual Gold medallist in the semi finals saw Spooner face a strong opponent in the Bronze medal contest, which again saw great anticipation of his opponent’s moves and a combination of techniques eventually saw a Ko uchi gari (minor inner reaping throw) take the medal in 15 seconds.
Both players were presented with their medals by World Championship Medallist, John Buchanen, then took part in an international training camp, learning skills from World and Olympic medallists.
Mr M Salter