ANNA Baddeley’s competition debut has been awaited with interest for some time and she did not disappoint at her first event, the Samurai Orange Belt & Under Championships.

She took the gold medal in her own grade range and then bronze in the higher grade range. The more seasoned Sophie Davis added another gold and also a bronze in the open weight, and there were four more Samurai players in the medals.

Eleven year-old Anna was up against more experienced players in her own red belt section but defeated them all to win gold. She then showed great attitude by also entering the higher grade section where she was giving problems to far more experienced players and won enough matches to add a bronze to her tally.

The more experienced Sophie, who has been doing judo for 18 months now, gained the fourth gold medal and 20th medal overall of her judo career to date with a comfortable gold in her own weight category in the girls higher grade section. The organisers then added an open weight category and despite being the lightest players there by some distance, Sophie entered. Two good wins took her into the semi-final where a mistake cost her the match, but she came back in the bronze play-off to defeat a much heavier and older player to take the bronze.

In the younger boys section, Finn Doherty and Archie Minkin, the latest two products of the club’s younger juniors section, were both doing well. Finn took the silver despite being the lightest player in his category, with good wins against Wolverhampton and Ludlow players taking him to the final of his group before he lost to a much more experienced and heavier player from Gloucester and so finishing with silver. Archie reached the semi-final, including a fine maximum point throw against a Cirencester player, before losing to a Stroud player, but he came back well to win the bronze.

In the boys higher grades, Luke Phillips had a strong category bit had good wins against players from Birmingham, Stroud and Redditch to reach the final. Here he was up against a very good player from Nottingham who was older and heavier than him and had to settle for silver. Harrison Flello and Mateo Allen both had a good effort. In the girls higher grades, Katy Jennings reached the semi-final bit was against the eventual winner of the open category and lost. However, a good win against a Wolverhampton player secured the bronze for her.

For details about starting judo, telephone 0776 1122977 or visit the Samurai website on samurai.org.uk or their Facebook page.

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