The Southend International open is a British C leval tournament that was held over the weekend of the 27th and 28th of November in Southend On Sea U.K.
Over 1200 competitors from Britain Europe and Asia took part in all age and weight divisions from U/14 to Seniors, only one Australian competitor Liam Yokoyama took part.
This was Liam's final competition in Europe before returning home to Australia .
Liam was enterd in 2 age division, U/15 Saturday and U/17 on Sunday and weighed in in the under 66kg division.
On Saturday in a division with 16 competitors, Liam faced 2 players on the way to the finals who are on the England junior development squad and who recently medaled at the Junior British open.
In the finals he was up against a player who recently took bronze at the Junior British Open in the 73kg division who had cut weight to make 66kg.
Like Liam this boy had won his pool and had scored some convincing wins against strong opposition.
The final looked like being a closely fought match but in the end was won in very quick time by Liam who first scored wazari with a tai o toshi, yuko with ko uchi and finaly Ippon with Sode tsurikomi goshi at 1:36, in a fine display of judo.
Sunday Liam was entered into the U/17 66kg division and faced a field of 7 other players in a 2 pools or 4 players each in round robin format. To reach the finals you needed to win your pool and this Liam did winning his 3 fights with ippon.
This put Liam at the top of his pool and into the finals where the top 4 players would battle it out for medals and place in the finals.
Liam won through to the finals and faced off against a young man who is ranked no 2 in the British Cadet (-17) 66kg ranking list.
The finals was hard fought and well played match and both players fought well till full time but unfortunatly Liam lost by 2 yuko's to his one.
This brought Liam's medal tally for his three months in Europe to 1 Silver and 5 gold medals with a 7th place finish from a total of 7 competitions entered.