Andrew holds down silver

TEENAGE judo star Andrew Pickerill won his first international medal at a competition in France. Pickerill, 14, almost won the final of the Rouen International. He had home player Benjamin Lesueurin in a hold down, but was himself held for the required 25

TEENAGE judo star Andrew Pickerill won his first international medal at a competition in France.

Pickerill, 14, almost won the final of the Rouen International. He had home player Benjamin Lesueurin in a hold down, but was himself held for the required 25 seconds.

Coach Ros Edwards said: "To win silver is a commendable performance in a country where judo is a major sport, and Andrew's next target is to gain selection to the Youth Olympics in 2008."

Pickerill, from Wicken, travelled to the tournament with the British Judo Squad.


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He was the only British player in the under-73kg category, and easily won his first contest with a hold down and beat his second opponent with his favourite hip throw, Harai Goshi. He used the same technique against his third opponent but did not score the full point, so earned a place in the final with a hold down.

This is the second silver that Pickerill has won in eight days, having finished runner-up in the British Schools Judo Association National Championships, in Crawley.

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The Littleport Judo Club member won all but his first match and brought wild applause from the crowd when he beat the heaviest player in his weight group, who was 20kg heavier than him.

Pickerill's club-mate Nicholas Johnson, from Soham, also competed in the national championships, but lost his two contests to players who won the gold and bronze medals.

Ms Edwards said: "Nicholas was disappointed but he will come back next year and compete in the same age band with more experience."

A member of British Judo's World Class Start Program for potential senior internationals, Pickerill attends training sessions in Walsall, Sheffield, Dartford and High Wycombe. Both he and Johnson attend local World Class Start and area training sessions as Johnson aspires to selection for 2008.

n Littleport Judo Club welcomes new players, and meets at Littleport Leisure Centre. More information about the Judo Club is available at the centre or by ringing one of the coaches on 01553 763973 or 01553 840573.

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