On Sunday 22nd September, junior member Annaya Harris traveled up to the north-east to compete in the regional North British schools qualifying competition. A regional event that provides a platform and priority access to the largest national completion in the country; British National schools event in April 2020.
After traveling up the day before and staying overnight. Annaya arrived and Weighed in promptly. Fighting in the -48 category at the bottom of the age group, Annaya found herself competing against older, much more experienced fighters. Remaining remarkably calm as usual, the first contest was a tough bout with Anaya dominating the gripping, throwing for ippon with a very clean and technical Uchimata.
The second contest was even tougher against a physically strong left-handed opponent. Following some dynamic moment and gripping exchanges, Anaya Performed a fanatic Uchi Mata counter scoring a Wazari and taking the lead. Further exchanges followed with some unsuccessful newaza transition. Unfortunately, 1:20 minutes into the contest, Anaya made a slight mistake attempting to counter with Tani OToshi as was caught with a counter herself losing to ippon.
Determined to achieve a positive outcome, Annaya started the final contest on the front foot controlling gripping putting her in a dominant position against another left-handed opponent. Controlling the sleeve and maintaining good posture, Annaya defended a number of excellent, fast drop seionage’s from the experienced and skilled opponent as well as Newaza transitions. Up on the scores, Annaya defended a flurry of combination attacks. Weighing the storm, she controlled the inside space, connecting hips and throwing her opponent with a very good Uchimata.
A tough day of contests finished with the presentation of a well earned silver medal and qualification for the British School Championships. With new experiences including fighting against left-handed opponents and defending throws she has yet to learn. Annaya showed excellent composure, tenacity and skill in what was a positive learning experience.