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The 2024 Wellington Open Judo Championships was a somewhat smaller affair than previous years. The Academy was well represented in the Senior divisions, notwithstanding a few people dropping out with sickness or injury. The Junior divisions boasted a total of five of our kids, which is a disappointing drop from previous years where we have had Junior teams in double figures.

The first day was dominated by the Cadet and Junior Men’s -73kg class where we were well represented. Several very good performances here netted medals and where people failed to get places, they missed out only narrowly. Our new arrivals from Vanuatu and French Polynesia also showed great spirit as part of the Academy team.

The second day was a quiet one for the Academy. While all junior competitors fought hard, only two brought medals home, in performances which improved as the day went on.

In the kata division, the Masuda-Morgan brothers partnered each other twice, swapping roles for each of their performances in the Nage no Kata division. For their trouble, they won Gold and Silver. Malcolm and Brad Teal also gave a creditable performance in this kata division.

A considerable amount of behind the scenes work on the days was done by Area Secretary, Cathryn Moriarty.

Referees from the Academy included Diane Limbrey, Wendy van der Molen and Patrick Lam.

While benched because of sickness, or illness, we have to acknowledge the people who helped out behind the scenes over the weekend in various capacities, including Aurie and Alexis Tzeng, along with Ben Geddes, Petrina Hargrave and Franco Cipriani.

Thanks to Kelvin Bradford Sensei, Hugo Dewar and Lilou Martel for their invaluable input matside.

At the conclusion of the tournament, long term Academy member, Wendy van der Molen was awarded the Honorary Membership of the New Zealand Judo Federation, for her long years of service to the Wellington Area.

Well done to all those who competed and we look forward to the Wellington Area Championships at the end of the year, to say nothing of the many events in-between.

The Team: Antares McMillan, Brad Teal, Brad Thompson, Cameron Clarke, David Bull, Dominic Hargaden-Sumner, Finn Moriarty, Hayate Sato, Hiroshi Ito, Hugo Page, Kieran Masuda-Morgan, Lachlan Callaghan, Luca Talarkiewicz, Lucinda Griffiths, Maisie Morrison, Malcolm Wilson, Marius Metois, Moka Sato, Oliver Han, Patrick Lam, Timoty Diebold, Vanessa Watson

The Haul:

Gold: Cameron C, Hugo P, Kieran M, Lucinda G, Malcolm W, Moka S, Marius M, Oliver H, Sean M (2)

Silver: Kieran M (2), Lachlan C, Vanessa W (2), Marius M, Sean M

Bronze: Finn M, Luca T, Marius M, Patrick L, Sean M