SUCCESSIVE gold medals mean Kendal-trained judoka Michael Horley has improved his chances of competing at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later this year.
With his latest victories in the under-90 category, the 26-year-old now occupies number one spot in the British Judo Association’s Team England 2014 Commonwealth selection ranking list.
Horley demolished his three opponents In the North West Area Open Championships held at the Kendal Dojo, despite giving away a number of kilos in weight.
His first contest against Neil Connett set the tone for the day with the Carlisle-born player throwing his opponent in less than 30 seconds for the full point.
Northern Ireland’s Mark Montgomery lasted a little longer but a shoulder throw did the damage as another full point was scored.
And despite Thomas Alberts defending hard in the final, the Blackburn judoka eventually succumbed to an outer reaping throw as Horley claimed gold.
This tournament was followed by the Scottish Open Championships at the Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh, with victory seeing Horley top the rankings.
An inner thigh (Uchi Mata) throw saw him defeat James Millar from Aberdeen after just 20 seconds, with injury forcing his opponent in the next round to withdraw.
After a tough semi-final clash with Huddersfield’s George Smith was navigated, a spectacular throw little over a minute into the final secured victory against Frazer Chamberlain of Camberley.
This victory over Chamberlain – placed fifth on the rankings list – not only demonstrated Horley’s supremacy but also ensured a third straight Scottish Open win.
In the Scottish Juniors Championships, Kendal’s Isaac Hill was on course for a medal only for injury to force his withdrawal while competing for a bronze.