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Joy of six for king Kavanagh

Ford Judo Club's Matt Kavanagh (second from left) at the National Judo Championships Ford Judo Club's Matt Kavanagh (second from left) at the National Judo Championships

Friday, December 20, 2013
1:30 PM

Ford Judo Club youngster is champion again

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Ford Judo Club's Kelly Staddon (right) competed at the National Judo ChampionshipsFord Judo Club's Kelly Staddon (right) competed at the National Judo Championships

Ford Judo Club’s Matthew Kavanagh claimed his sixth national title after a superb display at the British Championships in Sheffield.

Kavanagh beat his first two opponents in the under-81kg division in a combined time of less than 25 seconds and enjoyed maximum scores in five bouts to reach the final.

Looking strong and sharp against an opponent he had beaten in the past, Kavanagh showed few signs of nerves and applied pressure from the start.

And after dominating throughout, Kavanagh combined a forward throw with a rear throw to earn another maximum score and the gold medal.

Coach Bill Taylor said: “Matthew was so impressive, to win all six fights by maximum score is a fantastic achievement.

“This win rounds off the year for Matthew but we now have to try and get him qualified for next year’s World and European Championships.

“This means travelling most of Europe competing in European Cups to make sure he is high enough on the ranking lists for selection, all of which is crippling financially.

“We are still hoping someone can provide us with sponsorship to make this happen.”

Ford’s Kelly Staddon was also tipped to do well in the under-52kg category, but suffered two early losses, with Taylor adding: “This was not expected. Preparation was very good for this pinnacle event but whether it was nerves, mental block it was hard to say.

“Kelly also was selected to fight in the senior event, a great achievement for a player with two years left at junior level, so something had to be changed overnight.

“We watched her fights back and it was clear she under-performed. We put some mental training into place for her to work on for the following day.”

Staddon won her first senior bout with ease and then gained revenge against a player she had lost to in the junior competition after outgripping her opponent to land a maximum score.

Her hopes of glory were ended by GB Olympian Kelly Edwards, but Staddon claimed a notable bronze medal with Taylor adding: “Her performance was not that far away from that of the full-time athlete.

“This is the Staddon we wanted to see for the junior event but it wasn’t to be, but this performance was fantastic.

“Beating the girls she lost to the previous day with relative ease and also taking the scalps of two full-time athletes from Scotland and Wales was really impressive.”

Meanwhile, Ford’s Georgia Howard has been selected for the England squad after winning silver at her national competition a week earlier.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the Ford players should email fordjudoclub@hotmail.co.uk.

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