The ground around Buckinghamshire has finally stopped shaking; the birds have now returned to the trees to sing once again. In continuation of the epic weekend of fighting, Oxford judo was again out in force for this BJA ranking event. Some of the best judoka from around the UK were present to grab valuable ranking points…
The day started with the SUPERFLY Alex Jones out to strut his stuff. That he did. With a LIGHTING performance he TORE through all his U60kg opponents to take GOLD. No meager achievement – well done Alex! A great start… Next up was the original MACHO MAN of Oxford Henry Winney. A solid performance at U66kg amongst tough opposition earned him 7th place. The shrill screams of the BANSHEE echoed once more in both a typical and other regard on this day. Becky Bayliss took a BRONZE medal at U57kg, but it should have been more. In her penultimate fight, immediately after fulfilling the SIGNIFIED DEFEAT of her opponent she tore a hole in the side of her toe. Not being allowed to continue, a trip to the local hospital was warranted (all is now set for a quick recovery). Tending to the U81kg flock was James ‘THE MESSIAH’ Shepherd. A excellent PACIFYING performance amongst good quality opposition James forced his opponents to PROSTRATE themselves before him. BRONZE medal taken – excellent. Next up MAD MAX Denning – HIGH OCTANE ENERGY!!!! Think ACDC and the ROAR of V8 ENGINES – the large U90kg category had it all! Having lost his first fight to arguably the best fighter in the field (in rather speedy fashion), MAD MAX fought WHOLE-HEARTEDLY against ADVERSITY and U90kg all-comers displaying some great IPPON judo to once again come up against the judoka from his first fight in a bronze medal fight rematch. In perhaps what was the best fight of the day, this epic bout went deep into golden score time… THUNDERDOME glory denied. A late ippon score snatched away bronze. LAST UP, the HAIRY LUMBERING CREATURE of Oxford, first time out fighting up a weight at U100kg was the GRIZZLY Justin Gregory. Once again strong opposition which included full-time athletes was encountered. The BEAR was stalwart. After an error of calculation in predicting referee response which cost him his first fight, he went on to MAUL his way through his remaining opponents (receiving a BLOODIED BITE to the hand from a Russian bear along the way) to take a deserved BRONZE medal.
A good-day’s MEDAL HAUL. A strong performance from all. Well done!
Justin P. Gregory
(Men’s Blues Captain 2009-10)