Azhar Baree put Court Lane Judo Club back on to the international scene with a bronze medal at today’s Kent International. Following rumours of its demise last year, the Kent International has made a successful transition to Medway Park in Gillingham.
Competing at -42kg, in the orange and green belt category, Azhar benefitted from a bye in the first round. His first contest was against a player from Bradley Stoke, Azhar made short work of it, scoring two waza-aris from an ippon seoi / ko uchi combination.
His second fight pitched him against Lim of Belgium, who had looked dangerous in his first two fights. Azhar however scored a perfect ippon throw within the first moments of their contest, taking Lim backwards and flat on his back.
Through to the semifinal, Azhar faced another Bradley Stoke player, and this time came undone, being thrown for two waza-aris with drop seoinage.
After a wait for the repechage to be finished, Azhar again faced Lim in the bronze medal contest. Once again, Azhar took him back, scoring waza-ari before securing a hold to secure the win and our first medal at this competition since 2009.
Commenting afterwards, a tired but ecstatic Azhar echoed Jack Rogerson last year, describing the Kent as the hardest competition he has contested to date.