Published: 9 March 2022 at 15:54
Over the weekend of 25-27 February, five individual competitors and a women's team from ARU Judo Club competed in the 2022 BUCS Judo Championships at the University of Wolverhampton. It was a very successful weekend, with all three women winning individual medals as well as Team Silver.
Alejandro Cortes began the weekend competing in the under 66kg category. This was his first outing to BUCS and his first major competition as part of ARU. Alejandro gave a tremendous performance winning his first contest. Unfortunately, he was then beaten by higher graded judoka and knocked out of the competition.
Pavel Famfulik, the Club President, competed in the under 81kg category. Pavel found himself in the biggest category of the entire weekend with a total of 23 judoka. Pulling off some amazing judo, he managed to fight his way down to the final eight, only losing to higher graded players.
Jasmine Stringer was first up for the women, competing in the under 57kg category. Coming second in her opening round, she fought her way to the semi-finals, only to lose out to the silver medallist, bringing home a bronze medal at the end of the day.
Our newest recruit, Filipa Maia, who had only been training with the club for a month prior to the event, found herself in a very tricky group in the under 78kg category, made up of students who train on a full-time basis at the Judo Centre of Excellence. Having managed to place second in her opening round, Filipa made it to the semi-finals. Only losing out to the eventual gold medallist, Filipa took a bronze medal.
Lucy Williams, the Judo Club’s Vice President, was faced with a very difficult group in the over 78kg category. Having won her first contest easily, Lucy then faced a 2020 Olympian. Fighting hard, Lucy took her opponent to full time, only losing by a wazari score. Her final contest went into golden score and Lucy was only beaten by a single wazari score again, taking home a bronze medal.
On the second day of competition, Jasmine Stringer, Filipa Maia and Lucy Williams made up the ARU women's team. After a good medal haul the day before, the team had high hopes and were looking to improve on their 2020 bronze medal. The team’s first contest was against Edinburgh University, who beat them in the previous year to the silver medal. With an ippon throw and a choke the team won this round. Round 2 saw them defeated by the Wolverhampton team, who went onto take gold. Round 3 against Birmingham started with a tough opening contest, but the team eventually prevailed.
The final round saw the team compete against close friends from Cambridge University, winning every contest with an ippon, finishing up with a group hug between the teams. The women's team gave a magnificent performance and came home with the best women's result yet, a silver medal.
The club will soon be competing with Cambridge University at the upcoming Cambridge vs Oxford varsity, where they hope to maintain their title as city team champions. The club is working towards having more competitors for BUCS 2023 and improving on their medal haul once again.