LITTLEPORT judo star Andrew Pickerill raced to a silver medal in a national judo competition, winning one match in just four seconds. This was the first time Pickerill had won a medal in his third attempt at the National Junior Age Banded Championships, w
LITTLEPORT judo star Andrew Pickerill raced to a silver medal in a national judo competition, winning one match in just four seconds.
This was the first time Pickerill had won a medal in his third attempt at the National Junior Age Banded Championships, which took place in Sheffield.
Pickerill, 13, fought in the over-66kg category for players born between 1993 and 1994 and showed tremendous resilience, after suffering an early loss, to come back and dominate the rest of his opponents.
Pickerill sped through his remaining contests, with an excellent display of technical ability, and took a maximum ippon score every time.
One opponent was defeated with a throw in just four seconds and another in 20.
Pickerill received his silver medal from 2005 World Champion, Craig Fallon.
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Meanwhile, Pickerill's club-mate Nicholas Johnson was competing in the championships for the first time.
Johnson, like Pickerill had earned the right to compete with the best juniors in the country by winning the Eastern Area Age Banded Judo Champions in Thetford, earlier in the month.
At 11, Johnson was one of the youngest in his group, the under-50kg for players born between 1993 and 1994. He put in a very creditable performance in a difficult draw.
Johnson escaped twice from hold downs in his first contest, but was later caught by a throw. He was in line to take a bronze medal but, despite showing good technique, was thrown by his next opponent and did not progress.
Johnson will be able to build on this valuable experience in preparation for next year.
Pickerill and Johnson are now back in training. Pickerill has been selected to the British Judo Association's World Class Start Programme this year and is hopeful for selection for 2007.
Johnson was selected to attend World Class Start training events in the Eastern Region this year, but is looking to compete in bigger competitions.
n Competing at a high level is expensive and Littleport Judo Club appeals on behalf of these players for sponsorship. Interested parties should contact Ros Edwards on 01553 840573, or write to her at Littleport Judo Club, 76 Back Lane, West Winch King's Lynn.
# Littleport Judo Club welcomes new players, young and old and meets at Littleport Leisure Centre. For more information contact one of the coaches on 01553 763073 or 01553 840573.