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12-May-2009   -   Newcastle Success at Judo State Team Selections
Newcastle Success at Judo State Team Selection

No less than 8 Judo players from Samurai Judo Academy, Newcastle PCYC have qualified to represent NSW at the 2009 Australian Judo Titles to be held in Canberra over the June long Weekend this year. This is up 3 from 5 representatives in 2008 and includes all 6 Hunter Academy of Sport squad members…. “a true testimony to the success of the Hunter Academy of Sport judo program” said chief instructor, sensei Ken McKenzie.

Caroline Haine was most impressive, taking a clean sweep of 3 gold medals in the under 13 girls U44kg division. Haine recently moved from Wellington to Newcastle primarily to train under sensei McKenzie at Broadmeadow PCYC.

Harry Chalker and Jacob Maurer put in outstanding performances, both qualifying to represent NSW in the Young Mens U66kg division. This is the second year Chalker has represented his state and hopes to go one step further from his quarter final win in lasts year’s junior team. Maurer’s qualification in the young men’s team is all the more remarkable given that he was only 15 yrs of age at the time of selection events. Maurer placed in 2 of 3 Young Mens events, as well as claiming successive medals in the junior team.

Kenji Sato, qualified in the under 66kg junior boys (13-16yrs) division to join his fellow Hunter Academy of Sport team mates at the National level. Kenji is know as a tireless worker and has attracted compliments from many coaches in the State.

Despite being 10s of kilos lighter than most of his opponents, Adam Morton qualified in the over 100kg division. “Morton demonstrated remarkable strength and tenacity for his size and shows no fear in the face of more experienced and larger opponents” said McKenzie. “With further experience and hard training, he has the capacity to surprise his competitors in this years events.”

Liam Yokoyama, who won gold at the 2008 Australian titles, will return from 5 months training at the mother school of judo in Japan to defend his title, stepping up to the junior boys U55kg division.

Monica Lawman qualified in the junior girls under 57 kg division. “Lawman demonstrated her capacity for explosive judo and is growing from strength to strength with the benefit of the Hunter Academy of Sport training” said McKenzie. “Given her rate of improvement, she has the capacity to represent Australia in coming years”

McKenzie himself qualified in the Senior Men’s under 66kg division. Despite fracturing a finger in the second round, he went on to win 3 more bouts to claim silver in the NSW team selections held at Newcastle University recently.

“This results this year are a sign of the momentum that is building in our region” said Samurai Judo Academy President, Garry Zimmerman “By developing new programs and fostering up and coming athletes, we plan to develop world class judo players right here in the Hunter.”

Beginners program for adults and children of all ages are due to start at both Newcastle PCYC and Lake Macquarie PCYC shortly. Enquiries can be made at the PCYC or via Samurai Judo Academy on (02) 49 512530

Photo opportunities can be arranged on request by phoning Ken McKenzie on (02) 49 512530 or 0421343626

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