Great day for Bell as View judo team test skills against the best

Taylor Bell had one of his best-ever days on the judo competition circuit with four ippon wins (maximum scores) at the London Judo International event.

Thursday, 16th February 2006, 12:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 10:53 pm

He was fighting in the 12 to 13-year-old under-46kg category in a group of 22 including a strong team from Israel but proved unstoppable with some excellent attacking judo.

In the same age group Heather Stewart (under-43kg) had two convincing wins before being eliminated from the medals and Sophie Curtis (u-36kg) started off with a victory but was then overpowered and came away empty-handed this time.

In the 14 to 15-year-old group Michael Stewart (under-40kg) secured a well-earned bronze medal by coming back strongly after an initial loss to the final winner.

In the 16 to 18-year-old category Sophie Gardener (under-57kg) clocked up a superb win against a top national player but was then outgunned and had to put her follow-up bouts down to experience.

Clubmate Sarah Leaney (under-57kg) also missed out on the medals despite having one of her best days ever at this level. She won her first fight, lost to the eventual gold medallist and then proceeded to demolish all opposition in the repechage.

After four wins, and with a convincing lead in her fight-off for a medal position, she made her one mistake of the day and was armlocked as a result.

In the mens' section Sam O'Loughlin (under-73kg) looked to be on dazzling form with some magnificent judo and some spectacular ippon throws. He narrowly lost in the final to a dubious low score but still brought home a silver medal.

Ben Beer-Pierce (under-100kg) also secured silver, showing fine skills against bigger opposition. Tom Ralph (under-81kg) also looked much more like his old self as he secured first bronze in a strong field. He only lost his fight for the final in a bout that he looked to be in control of and it could have gone either way.