The trinidad Guardian / Luke Walker warmed up for the Judo National Championships with an easy victory at the Queen’s Park Judo Challenge this week. This tournament is one of the final dress rehearsals ahead of local judo’s biggest tournament of the year.
In the Senior Male Open category, Walker scored a total of 30 points, which included three ippons and three waza-aris. His best match was against rival Xavier Jones, who finished in second place with ten points.
Christian Victor also had ten points with Jelanie Boyce finishing below the pack.
Walker told Guardian Media Sports, “Any opportunity to compete is very valuable because in judo, competition is very different to training, so it’s a certain mindset you have to have in competition. It’s a switch and you have to practice turning it on and off.”The senior females comprised of just Christie Modeste and Nikita Chinapoo. Modeste scored a total of 20 points to top her opponent. In the Girls Under 16 >57kg, Tiffany Revere scored three waza-aris and three ippons as she topped the division with 30 points. Coming in second was Giselle Choon with six waza-aris and an ippon, totalling 15 points. Khya Headley, who dominated the first Schools Judo League matchday of the new school term, also finished with 15 points, but in third.
Among the Boys Under 16, Samuel Roberts beat out Giovanni Lopez and Courteney Rooks, but this was a low scoring category. Roberts had a waza-ari and an ippon to total 15 points. Lopez had a single ippon to finish in second.
Among the juniors, Aidan Greaves scored 15 points to edge out Nicholas Siu Butt in the Boys Under 12. In the girls’ category, Abigail Chin Lee dominated her sister Inara, scoring two ippons. Her score of 20 was good enough to finish at the top.
According to Queen’s Park Judo Club’s chief instructor, Mark Littrean, this tournament gives a good indicator of who will be on the podium come national champs. He said, “What we try to do is keep the interest in the National Championships alive. This tournament gives a good idea of who might come out as the national champion, and that’s why we hold this tournament very dear to our hearts.”