The North West Area Open Judo Championships held in Blackburn had competitors from as far south as Ealing, London and as far north as Garioch, above Aberdeen, Scotland.

With more than 180 judoka taking part over the two, days Kendal Judo Club members had to work hard for their medals

Lauren Fox was the first Kendal player on the mat in the under 52 kilo weight category. It wasn’t an auspicious start in her first tournament of the year, losing her first fight to the eventual gold medallist, Eve Jackson from Thornaby.

This put her into the repechage and in a determined mood she won her next contest against Leila Adrif from Garioch throwing her with an outer reaping technique which she followed with a hold down for the full point. Full of confidence, Fox went on to win bronze.

Nye Greasley at under 60 kilos started very well against his opponent from Tooting, London. An armlock halfway through the contest had Samuel Brooks-Gilzane submitting very quickly. In his next contest, Nye was a half-point down in under 30 seconds, however, with some strong defensive action, he managed to equalise the score with thirty seconds to go. Nye relaxed too soon and was caught with a shoulder throw right on the bell. This left him out of the medals in 5th place.

In his first two contests, Nathan O’Sullivan produced two spectacular inner thigh throws and followed these up in his third fight with a strangle technique against James Brain from the Wirral to put him in the final. Sadly, Nathan was caught with a good throw himself by Dan Pearson from Grimsby and had to settle for the silver medal.

Brandon Stewart, from Edinburgh, is currently training full time at Kendal and it paid off with a couple of techniques in the brown belt category and, as well as a bronze medal, he got his first points towards his black belt.

Abdul Ben Hamida was left to the end and he came up with the performance of the day as far as the Kendal Club was concerned. In the Coloured Belt Under 100 kilos category, a tremendous hip throw, followed by shoulder throws in his next two contests put him on the top spot of the rostrum.