Coffs’ impressive haul on the judo mat at national champs
COFFS Coast judo clubs sent six competitors to the Australian Judo Union national championships in Cairns and each won a medal.
Results mirrored the success of 2013 when Coffs Coast judoka placed high in medals at the nationals hosted in Toormina.
The first gold medal went to six-year-old Archie Simmonds from Coffs Harbour PCYC Club and he also took silver in the division above.
Archie's brother Alex took bronze, fighting above his weight in the under-13 contests.
Other juniors to win were Obian Laidlaw, who won gold in his division and bronze in a heavier weight and fellow Kuzushi (Toormina) Judo Club member Logan Calnan, who snared two gold medals.
Obian's father and Kuzushi (Toormina) sensei Charlie Laidlaw came home with two silver medals after being narrowly defeated in the gold medal bout by fellow Kuzushi and Woolgoolga sensei Cliff Illingworth, who returned with three medals.
The match between Laid-law and Illingworth was one of the most dramatic with Laidlaw trying one of several "James Bond" (tomoe-nage) throws he executed during the tournament.
Laidlaw and Illingworth shared silver medals for their joint performance in the katame no kata contests on the first day.
The youngest Coffs Coast judoka, Archie Simmonds was undefeated in two divisions, leading to the finals.
Many were impressed by Archie defeating a larger judoka with an impressive ippon throw in the first 30 seconds.
Coffs Harbour PCYC Club sent two referees to the event - second dan Helmut Zelno and Clive Simmonds.