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Cambridge at the 2020 BUCS Judo Championships

13 Cambridge University members travelled to Sheffield to compete in the BUCS Judo Championships last month achiveving their best medal haul in years with every fighter winning at least one fight in their category. With 1 gold medal, 2 silver medals and 3 bronze medals, we look back at one of the most successful BUCS years for CUJC.


Individual competitions, Saturday 15 Feb 2020:

In his first competition for CUJC Reda Arab performed fantastically in the M -60kg Dan grade category, collecting a silver medal. A second lightweight medal came from TASS supported Showgo Kimura who fought brilliantly in a large M -66kg Dan grade category, coming back from a third-round loss, against the eventual gold medallist, to convincingly win all three of his repechage fights and securing the bronze medal.

Tom Dendooven fought in a strong M -100kg Dan grade category (at a light 90.9kg!). He advanced to the semi-final, where he lost to the gold medalist, but fought a strong repechage fight to secure another bronze medal for the club. Azamat Kumykov (M -73kg Kyu grade) didn’t make the under 66 kg category, weighing in at 66.2kg, a meagre 200g over the weight limit. However, showing true Cambridge Judo spirit, he proved this was no problem by securing a bronze medal against much heavier opponents in the largest kyu grade weight category of the day.

Caitlin Sargeant competed in a group of 10 competitors in the F -57kg Kyu grade competition, winning all three of her fights in a combined total of 37 seconds to secure a gold medal for the University. A similarly strong performance from Lotte Wood secured a silver medal in the F -70kg Kyu category, proving the growing strength in our women’s squad.

Reda Arab (white belt, silver medallist) throwing his opponent.


Team competition, Sunday 16 Feb 2020

After winning 6 medals at the individual events, the Men’s Team fought again on the second day competition.

In the team event 5 players per team fight individually in their weight category against an opponent from the other team. If a player wins his individual fight, his team gets a point, if he loses the other team gets the point. 12 teams had entered the team competition including historically strong opposition such as Durham, Nottingham, Bath, and Wolverhampton

The Cambridge University team (Peter, Showgo, Stelios, Jürgen and Tom) ended up in a pool with rivals Oxford and Imperial for the preliminary rounds. The first match against Oxford meant more than just the first round in the competition, being a strong warm-up for the Varsity competition in two weeks’ time. Tom won a hard fight with a 3rd Dan opponent, and Stelios won comprehensively in 7 seconds putting us through with a 4-1 win, putting us in great shape for the 90th Varsity match!

Imperial were next, and after five dominant fights (5-0), Cambridge won their pool of 3, advancing to the quarter-finals against University College London. A special mention should go to Stelios, who beat Archie Platt, a rising judo star in Great-Britain and international fighter, in just under a minute. The CUJC men were determined to advance to the semi-finals and UCL would not stop them. Another 4-1 win with Peter, Stelios and Jürgen winning their fights in a combined time of 46 seconds saw the CUJC men’s team proceed to the semi-final.

The semi-final was against an extremely strong Bath squad. It ended up being our only loss in the team competition of 1-4 but was a display of some of the best judo of the event. Of

special note was Showgo’s epic contest against an opponent nearly 20kg heavier than him and a -81kg medallist. The fight lasted an exhausting 5 minutes and 44 seconds. Showgo showed his incredible technique, speed, fitness and determination, and started dominating his opponent as the fight progressed, throwing his opponent cleanly for ippon to win one of the best contests of the weekend.

This put us in for a bronze medal fight against Loughborough - which was dominated by a motivated Cambridge team securing the win (5-0). This performance wouldn’t have been possible without the excellent mat-side coaching from our 4 coaches who have put in so much time and effort to train us to these successes.

With just under 50% of our competitors winning individual medals and only coming second to judo centres of excellence (Uni of Bath and Wolverhampton) in the team competition at BUCS 2020, we very much look forward to BUCS 2021, where we will hopefully improve again!


Cambridge Representatives at BUCS Judo 2020:

Individuals: Caitlin Sargeant (F, -57kg, Kyu Grade), Lotte Wood (F, -70kg, Kyu Grade), Reda Arab (M, -60kg, Dan grade), Peter Hampshire (M, -66kg, Dan grade), Showgo Kimura (M, -66kg, Dan grade), Stelios Sarantellis (M, -81kg, Dan grade), Jürgen Sauer (M, -81kg, Dan grade), Tom Dendooven (M, -100kg, Dan grade), Azamat Kumykov (M, -73kg, Kyu grade), Win Suthapradit (M, -73kg, Kyu Grade), David Benjamin Grys (M, -81kg, Kyu grade), Jake Zipfel (M, -81kg, Kyu grade), Dan Toy (M, -90kg, Kyu Grade)

Men’s Team: Peter Hampshire (M, -66kg, Dan grade), Showgo Kimura (M, -66kg, Dan grade), Stelios Sarantellis (M, -81kg, Dan grade), Jürgen Sauer (M, -81kg, Dan grade), Tom Dendooven (M, -100kg, Dan grade)