It’s been yet another successful return to the judo arena after the summer break for North Devon’s Kingsley School Judo team.
Their top fighters travelled to Hertfordshire to compete in the first national ranking Ippon League competition of the season, while the club’s younger generation competed in the next round of the Kingsley League festival, hosted at Kingsley School.
Amie McMurray was the star of the weekend as she continued her outstanding development from her achievements in the minors’ rankings last season.
She produced an inspired display in her first-ever pre-cadet event after moving up an age band to take a gold medal at the Northern Home Counties Open Championships.
McMurray reached the final where she defeated Sophie Johnston from Pinewood Judo Club in the girls’ under-32-kg division to take her first pre-cadet gold medal.
Brother Zach McMurray, who also competes in the pre-cadet age band, was fighting in his new weight category in the under-38-kg division for the first time. This highly-competitive group of 17 young judoka certainly made him fight hard to reach the final ranking positions.
McMurray produced three excellent results and eventually finished in fifth place after a final-round de- feat to London’s Omar Bougoffa.
In the cadet age band Mark Wild was equally involved in a tough battle in the under-60-kg division. Wild has been working incredibly hard to force himself back inside the top ten ranking positions in Great Britain and here he produced some great judo during the day, winning three bouts and forcing himself into fifth-place overall.
That performance will certainly give him confidence as the season gets underway to improve on his current 13th national ranking place.
While the squad were competing hard, the club’s younger fighters were all battling again for Kingsley League points in round three of their competition.
Six-year-old Kyra McDonald took her second League gold medal to climb into third place after beating Daisy Walters in her lightweight girls final.
Freddie Horrocks, aged seven, won his first League gold medal after beating fellow club-mate Henry Lawrence in the lightweight final while 11-year-old George Brown also won his second gold medal to step up into second place.
Tristan Walters continued his domination in the boys’ light middleweight category by clinching his third gold medal in defeating Callum McMurray in the final and stretching his overall lead at the top.
Said Kingsley spokesman Simon Ward: “The League competition is designed to support the development of younger competitors within the club system.
“Many of our higher-level fighters like Amie McMurray have all started by winning the club League competition before moving on to the higher national level.”