Medals flow at Masters Games
WOOLGOOLGA judo sensei Cliff Illingworth has managed a hat trick, defending his under-73 kilogram title at the Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast on Sunday.
Held every two years, this is the third successive event and Illingworth returned with the gold medal.
Known for his uncompromising love of gold medals, Illingworth said: "I'm glad I kept my title."
"In the medal fights, I threw both my opponents with clean 'ippon' throws," he said. "One with a hip throw, and one with a leg-swiping technique."
Illingworth teaches judo to adults and juniors at Woopi Warriors Judo Club in Hawke Dr.
Outdoing Illingworth in medals this year is 32-year-old Matt Lipman, who teaches at Cook Drive's C4 martial arts studio. The Coffs Coast's youngest competitor in the Pan Pacific Masters Games (the judo age minimum is 30 years), Lipman won gold in both the under-90s matches and open weight division.
Another repeat medallist is Helmut Zelno, from Coffs Harbour PCYC Club, who won gold in an exhibition match, as one of the oldest competitors at the Games.
His fellow club sensei, Clive Simmonds, marked his first return to competitive judo following knee surgery with one win in four bouts.
"I think I performed exceptionally well, in the circumstances, but it would have been great to repeat my silver medal performance of last games," Simmonds said.
"The seniors' Gold Coast medal haul plus the medals won by our judo juniors on the Central Coast last month gives you an idea of the strength of judo now on the Coffs Coast," Illingworth said. Judo classes are taught at Woolgoolga, Coffs Harbour PCYC, Coffs Harbour C4 and Toormina.