The junior players of Kettering Premier Judo Club have made an impressive start to the year, winning an impressive 30 medals up the end of March.
Their latest adventure took them to the local hunting ground of Samurai Judo Club in Kidderminster.
Taking a small and inexperienced squad of four to the Mini-me entry level competition, the club were looking to gain some experience for the youngsters and maybe bag a few medals but the youngsters had other ideas and exceeded their coaches’ expectations.
Star of the show was Beata Binder, a player who only joined the club two months ago.
Her first match proved to be a nervy encounter and went into extra-time before she pulled out a winning throw.
Her second match ended much faster as she despatched her opponent with an o-soto-otoshi, outer drop throw in under 30 seconds.
Her final opponent had also won her first two matches, both in less than 10 seconds, but the Kettering player stayed positive and attacked.
The final match again went into extra-time before her opponent was penalised for passivity handing her the gold.
Yacine Benhidour was slightly more experienced going into the competition and he also brought home a gold in a surprisingly tough group.
In the pool of four, he won two matches by the maximum ippon score with a series of throws and holds before losing his final encounter by a wazari or half knockout out.
This left the pool standings in the balance with three players on two wins apiece.
This meant the final standings would go on points scored and after a tense wait, the Kettering player was awarded the gold medal
Yacine’s brother Riyad Benhidour was also in action, winning two matches and setting up a shot at gold.
He could not quite match his club-mates’ results but with two silver medals from his first two contests, he won’t be down for too long.
Nicole Peters went into the event as the club’s leading medal winner for the year. However, an injury in the early rounds meant she had to settle for a bronze this time around.
Kettering Premier Judo Club are always looking for more future champions and have classes to suit all children from five years old and upwards at their Bath Road Dojo. Anyone interested should contact the club through their Facebook page.