A GOLD medal for Kendal Judo Club’s Michael Horley and a fifth place for Danny Harper at the English Open Judo Championships held at iceSheffield has promoted both players up the British Judo Association Ranking lists.

Michael Horley was seeded No. 1 in the Under 90 kilo weight group and had a bye in the first round of the competition.

In his first contest against Joshua Plant from Nuneaton, the Kendal player threw his opponent with his trademark Osoto Gari (Major Outer Reaping Throw) in just 29 seconds.

His next fight was against long-time rival Samuel Ingram from Scotland. This was a hard contest going the full five minutes but a penalty conceded by the Scot meant that Horley was through to the semi-final.

He scarcely stepped onto the mat for this contest when he was stepping off again with another tremendous throw against Stephan Abberley from Wales in just nine seconds for a place in the final.

Against Frazer Chamberlain from Camberley, the match went into Golden Score time but a hold down after six minutes gave the Kendal player the win, the English Open Champion title and the No.1 place in the BJA ranking list.

Danny Harper was fighting in the Under 81 kilo weight category. In his first contest he took a win from defensive Michael Nugent of Killingworth near Newcastle.

In his next fight an inner thigh throw on the four minute mark against Kris Hedges from Wales was followed by a very close contest against Leo Jofe from Nottingham.

Harper’s non-stop attacking gave him a place in the semi-final, but an injury hampered the Kendal player and he was thrown halfway through the contest.

Despite also having to concede the bronze medal fight, Harper was promoted into the top 10 ranking list.