Whilst training at the Sports school van de Pol in Helmond Netherlands , Liam Yokoyama was entered into a regional tournament in Schijndelse against some strong Dutch players one being the the No 2 U17 66kg player.
Liam fought in the 66kg division with 19 other entrants the draw was divided into 2 pools of 9 players each.
Liam was placed into pool A and first match he faced a very tough opponent but won the match in golden score with a very fine sode tsurikomi goshi for ippon this player evenually took bronze. His next opponent was thrown with morote seoi nage for wazari and then osae komi waza for ippon.
The next two matches were also quick affairs and resulted in 2 more ippon scores,one with in the first 30 seconds.
Liam was the winner of Pool A and would face the winner of pool B in the finals, Nino Struik the no 2 ranked Netherlands player in the u/17 66kg division.
The match was exciting from the start and Liam never let his opponent get comfortable , first scoring yuko with ko uchi gari and defending against some strong attacks by his taller opponent who scored yuko with a tai o toshi and then tried to take it into osae kom waza, Liam was too strong and was able to turn out of the hold and take his opponent off the mat area so the ref called mate.
With just over a minute left in the match Liam scored wazari with another well timed ko uchi gari and after this began to dominate the fight, never letting his opponent get his grip. With about 15 seconds left in the match and the frustration building in his opponent he again scored with a very low seoi nage for wazari awasete ippon.
Gold to Liam.
Over the next 3 weeks Liam will be training at club van de Pol in Helmond and with the Netherlands U/17 and U/20 National team. He has been entered in 3 more tournaments in Alkmaar (October 24), St.Oedenrode (October 30) and Lommel Belgium (Flanders Cup, October 31). The last being one of the qualifying tournaments for the IJF European cadet cup.
Before heading to Wales to train at the Welsh National training centre and then to England to train in Camberley and compete in the Southend International Open against players from the UK Europe and North and South America.