Greek-Cypriot judoka Sam Sampson recently travelled to Belgium with the JFAUK team to take part in the 2018 Bilzen Open. Sam started the day for the team, taking on a dutch judoka in his first match. Despite the strength of the Netherlands born athlete, who used his aggression to try to intimidate Sam, Sam kept his composure and used his experience to first throw the Dutch athlete with an Ippon Seoi Otoshi to score a Wazari. Shortly after, Sam executed a clean Osoto Gari to gain his second Wazari and win the match. Next to face Sam was a British judoka who had travelled with a different team. Sam used the same composure to counter the British athlete with an Uchi Mata to score Ippon and win his second match. The final match for Sam was yet another Dutch judoka, however with a gold medal within reach, Sam used a Sasae Tsuri Komi Ashi to take his opponent over and score an Ippon to take home the gold medal in the -81kg category.
Commenting on his win, Sam said “I am pleased with my performance. The first fight was a bit of a shock to the system, as the language barrier meant I didn’t hear the announcement prompting me to warm up, so I ended up going straight into a fight without warning! However, I quickly adjusted and got the job done. This event was my first in Belgium so it feels great to mark that with a gold medal.”
Competing alongside Sam was Ross Elliot and Adam Brown from Club Judoka in Worthing, with Ross taking home a gold and Adam taking home a silver.
Sam trains at the Sobell Judo Club in Finsbury Park, North London. Sobell train every Monday and Wednesday, catering for all ages and abilities. To find out more head to www.sobelljudoclub.com