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Golden joy for teenage judo ace Bryony
12:30pm Wednesday 24th October 2012 in Sport
A FANTASTIC performance from 13-year-old Bryony Griffiths of Worcestershire’s Samurai Judo Club saw her grab the gold medal at the British Junior National Championships in Sheffield.
The two-day event attracted an entry of around a thousand judo players, and with minimum grade and experience qualifications they were all strong players, including all the very best in the country.
There were 16 competitors in Griffiths’ under 44 kilograms group and she faced a tough blue belt from Liverpool in her first match was soon a score up. She then gained a high score to reach the last eight.
The next match was against a Scottish girl, regarded as one of the favourites, but Griffiths soon put a stop to that. She never looked threatened and at the end of the contest won on penalties.
The Worcestershire girl’s semi-final was against an opponent from Hull and coached by five-time world champion Karen Briggs. Griffiths was soon a score up and once again her opponent was getting penalties for not attacking.
With 30 seconds to go she was on target for a place in the final and a guaranteed medal, but to change her tactics would have been fatal, so she had to keep attacking even though she was winning.
Fortunately, each attack was strong and there were no options for the other girl to counter or attack herself, so at the end of the contest Griffiths was the winner and into the final.
Her opponent in the final was from Essex and once again she launched a relentless barrage of attacks. The Essex girl soon began to get penalties for not attacking and this led to her losing the contest and handing Griffiths the gold medal and title of British champion.
She becomes the Samurai club’s second British champion after Darcie Hancocks stormed to gold at the younger age band British nationals in St Helens two weeks ago.
Fellow Samurai members Brendan Crummy, Becky Hobby and Frankie Marston also competed in Sheffield with Crummy finishing ninth in his category while Marston and Hobby finished seventh in theirs.