Kumo club start year with bang
The Lopham and Diss-based Kumo Judo Club started the year with medal successes from a new group of players, as well as one of their more-experienced judokas.
Jonathan Drane defeated Rovshan Safarov of Azerbaijan in Egar, Hungary, to take his first visually-impaired World Cup bronze medal.
The medal gave Drane further qualification points for the Rio Paralympics in 2016 to add to his world silver medal points won in Colarado last year.
Kumo’s younger players have also been on the medal trail with rising eight-year-old star Lewis Eaton-Cole taking silver at the Eastern Region Invitation, a gold at Littleport and another silver at the development tournament held at Lopham Village Hall last weekend.
Club colleague Connor Sturman took back-to-back silver medals.
Many children were competing for the first time at Lopham at the weekend and there were plenty of sibling success stories with brothers Henry and James Hurst and sisters Georgina and Laura Raven taking gold and silver medals respectively.
Three members of the Harper family — Ian, Brennen and Marion — all took silvers.
George Eaton-Cole took gold, Ollie Popple and Joshua Amey silver, with Kilty Flynn winning bronze.
Tom Harmer took gold in a very tough group.
Howard Oates, founder of Kumo Judo Club, said: “The medal haul was very welcome.
“In 2014 the medal successes of Colin Oates and Jonathan Drane offset a poor year by the club’s standards, which saw sites at Thetford and Debenham close, with a resultant drop in the competitive element of the club.
“There is a still a wide gap between Kumo’s high-flying stars and the rest of the players, but the future looks promising.”