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News

9-Nov-2008   -   Newcastle Takes Gold, Silver and Bronze at Australian Titles
Judo players from Samurai Judo Academy, Newcastle PCYC claimed gold, silver and bronze medals in their first ever attempt at the 2008 Australian Judo Titles held in Sydney over the June long weekend.

Liam Yokoyama was one of the most impressive performers at this years National event, winning every bout in the under 13yrs under 50kg division with style by “Ippon”, the judo equivalent of a knockout. “Liam is one of the most exciting juniors produced in Australia for some time” said 2004 Olympian and Samurai Judo Academy coach, Jessica Malone. “He is exactly the type of competitor we are seeking in the Hunter to raise the profile of Australian judo on the world stage”

What is even more amazing is that Yokoyama only started judo early this year. “He is a testimony to intense new programs run by Samurai Judo Academy coaches via the Hunter Academy of Sport” said chief instructor, ‘Sensei’ Ken McKenzie

Melinda Brown was outstanding in the junior girls under 52kg division, narrowly missing out on gold after leading up to the last 12 seconds of the bout. “Many people have commented on Mel’s improvement leading up to the Australian Titles” said sensei McKenzie. “With further training, I have no doubt she has the potential to represent Australia”

Liam Bruckdorfer was also impressive in his first National event, winning a bronze medal in the junior boys under 90kg division. He received special mention by the NSW State coach for outstanding improvement and hard work in 3 months of preparation with the state team.

McKenzie also gave credit to Harry Chalker and Matthew Brown. Chalker, who won gold at the NSW state tiles in March, only narrowly missed out on a bronze medal despite giving away more than 5kg against much more experienced competitors. Brown put in a gutsy effort in one of the largest divisions of the event.

McKenzie also competed at the National event. With his preparation hampered by injury, he was beaten in the fight offs for a senior men’s open weight division bronze medal.

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