After reaching the finals in their respective categories in BUCS earlier this year Peter Miles, Rachel Wheatley, Will Johnson and James Fowler went to represent Oxford University and GB at the European University Games in Rijeka in Croatia.
Below is a report from our Men’s Captain Peter Miles:
Day 1: It was a long day of travelling from London to Rijeka for the 5 of us. We arrived at the campus and finally found out when weigh-in and the competition day was. All of us would be weighing in 2 days time and competing in 3 days, so plenty of time to absorb the atmosphere of the games and explore Rijeka. We arrived at the student accommodation which wasn’t quite what we expected… no air conditioning, limited space, and rock solid beds. Not ideal but after a tiring day we were all ready to call it a day and rest up for training tomorrow.
Day 2: We started the day with a morning judo session to prepare and sharpen our techniques and gripping for the competition. After that we had the whole day to ourselves, so most of us visited the rocky beach and some cut the last bit of weight ready for the weigh in tomorrow.
Day 3: Finally weigh in day was here, and all made weight comfortably after a long and disorganised weigh in. After that we were free to rehydrate and refuel before the competition tomorrow. A few of us visited the town centre for a bit of shopping to take our minds off the fighting.
Day 4: It was competition day and everyone was in good spirit and excited to get out onto the mat. Unfortunately the organisation of the competition wasn’t great, but we had to deal with that and focus on more important matters. There were some good and not so good performances from the team, with the highlight being Wills 5th place after 5 tough fights. However it was a great experience for everyone, and there were plenty of positives to take away from the event.
Day 5: The heavyweights were on for the second day of competition, so we spent the day cheering on our team mates from the stands and reflecting on yesterday’s performances. In the evening it was time to have fun as the competition had finished. We went to the closing ceremony after party which was for all athletes at the games. It involved a lot of drinking and dancing, and was a great way to end the trip!
Day 6: The early morning start to leave for England was a struggle for most of us! Overall, apart from the organisation of the event we all had a fantastic time, enjoying the judo and Croatian weather whilst also making new friends and great memories.