Judo continue to compete to high standard

 by Ciara Murphy

Last weekend, UCC Judo brought 13 judoka to Coleraine, Derry where the 50th anniversary of the Irish Judo University Championships took place.

UCC Judo have traditionally had high competitive and success rates in the Student Intervarsities; including the times that the club brought 36 people and took away over 50 medals in the Dublin competition in 2017, had 21 competitors and won over thirty medals in Cork Intervarsities last year, and had been the male and female teams’ champions for three years running.

This year, with mostly newcomers, some of whom have been only training in judo for a few weeks the club maintained its high standard of judo. With one male team and one female team, along with every judoka competing in multiple individual categories, UCC was represented in nearly every category in the competition. Each and every person who fought on Saturday did themselves and UCC incredibly proud, as they fought incredibly well and played very positive and progressive judo. At the end of the day we went home with 15 medals including the women’s team gold.

The women’s team, made up of Diane Cooper, Salome Rouiller and Ciara Murphy went completely untouched by the other teams, as they breezed their way to gold after a number of fantastic fights and brilliant throws. The men’s team, made up of Gavin Hicks, Billy Duane, Daniel Murphy, Colin O’ Sullivan and Adam McCarthy, fought very well but unfortunately were knocked out in the first pool after an impressive battle against Trinity College Dublin. Next up in kyu (belt divisions) UCC really came out, with Gavin Hicks winning gold in Lower kyu with his signature beauty of an uchi mata; Diane Cooper winning gold in middle kyu after a few amazing fights; and Ciara Murphy winning gold in upper kyu. In the weight categories, Adam McCarthy display amazing ground work for which he earned a silver medal in -73kg, Colin O Sullivan winning a bronze (after injuring his knee in the first fight), Gavin winning bronze in -100kg, Daniel Murphy winning bronze in -73kg and in the women’s Diane once again came in strong with a gold in the -70kg, Salome landing a silver in -78s and Ciara Murphy winning bronze in +78s after injuring her shoulder. Last of all we had a few amazing fighters in the open category with Daniel Murphy brining home a bronze after a display of highly impressive ippon seio nage throws and Salome Rouiller powering through with a gold in the women’s category.

Everyone who went to Coleraine the past weekend fought amazingly well and should be incredibly proud of themselves, especially those for whom it was their first competition; mainly Pádraig Lordan, Billy Duane, Chidi Anyanwu and Fionn Blake. Also, a huge congratulations is in order to Adam McCarthy who received a well-deserved Best Male Judoka award for his progressive and positive attitude during all of his fights during the competition. We would just like to say a special thank you to Salome Rouiller for coming back to Ireland from France especially for this competition and UUC Judo Club for a fantastic and well-run event. We hope next year to keep up the great work.