Department of Sport

Nationals success for our #GreenandGold Judoka

On the 25th of February, the University of Nottingham Judo club had a strong team of 24 travel to Wolverhampton to begin the biggest weekend in the University Judo Calendar - BUCS. Our #GreenandGold athletes have been training intensively all year for this competition, and the results are testament to their hard work and dedication. Saturday 26th was the individual competition, with 12 of our athletes competing in the 2nd Kyu and under (blue belt and under), and 12 in the 1st Kyu and above (brown and black belts) categories. This meant that in terms of numbers, our Judo club were the greatest club in attendance at the competition.

The competition format for most of the groups was a knockout with repechage, meaning if an individual lost a fight they would be put into repechage where they would be in the running for bronze. Another loss and unfortunately, they would be knocked out the competition for good. In the 2nd Kyu and below category, many University of Nottingham competitors had only been practising judoka for less than a year and were up against competitors with many years of experience. Overall, 20 fights were won, and the following individuals placed:

Franco Obuseli - U90: Bronze 

Yujia Zhang - U66: Fifth

Xiao Yue - U66: Seventh

Joel Cooke Verdaguer - U73: Seventh


The 1st Kyu & Dan Grade category all weight divisions contained GB squad members and national medallists. 17 fights were won collectively and there were lots of great ippons here, with an ‘ippon’ being a throw that wins you the fight. Special mention to Yousef Al Yaqoub (u66) who held the record for the shortest fight, achieving ippon in 7 seconds in two of his fights with an impressive ‘uchi mata.’ Of particular note, our President Ella Tomsett achieved a silver medal, meaning she has earned a place in the European University Championships in Poland in July! In the 1st Kyu & Dan Grade category the following individuals placed:

Ella Tomsett - U70: Silver 

Yousef Al Yaqoub - U66: Bronze 

Yoshiyuki Kimura - U90: Bronze 

Nathan O’Sullivan - U90: Fifth

Noah Jones - U66: Seventh

Jem Pitcairn - U81: Seventh

Tobin Bowers - U90: Seventh

Tom Butterworth - O100: Seventh


On the Sunday, we had the Men’s Team Event which was intense but very exciting. With 10 Men’s Teams entered, Nottingham were placed into a pool of five, where the top two go through to the crossover and fight in the semi-final. We started the day with a strong team of 5 Men: Yousef U66, Nathan U90, Tobin U90, Jem U90, Tom O90 (Reserves: Yoshiyuki O90, Franco U90, Noah U66). With a team event every individual fights the corresponding weight class of the opposing team. The winning team is the one that gets at least three wins. Most team events go down to the last heavyweight fight, making the competition extremely exciting to watch.

Our pool stage results were:

Nottingham v Hertfordshire 5-0 (W)

Nottingham v Warwick 4-1 (W)

Nottingham v Edinburgh 4-1 (W)

Nottingham v Cambridge 3-2 (L)

This meant we were through to the semi-finals! Our judoka fought hard here but were unfortunately defeated 4-1 by Bath, whose team consisted of national medallists. This meant our men won Bronze overall, which is a huge achievement. Congratulations to our team, which consisted of:

Yousef Al Yaqoub - U66 (won 4 matches, lost 1)

Nathan O’Sullivan - U90 (won 4 matches, lost 1)

Tobin Bowers - U90 (won 4 matches, lost 1)

Jem Pitcairn - U90 (won 2 matches, lost 3)

Tom - O90 (won 1 match, lost 2, retired through injury)

Yoshiyuki - O90 (lost 1)


This was a brilliant (but exhausting!) BUCS weekend for the club and everyone should be immensely proud of themselves. The Judo club has come back from the enforced Coronavirus break stronger, achieving a medal count higher than BUCS 2020 and they are working to make this even larger in 2023! The club wants to give special thanks to their team of coaches Anna Maria Carbone, Paul Robinson, Adam Watson, Alie Pickwell and Dan Richardson. The work they have done for the club is invaluable, and Nottingham Judo continues to go from strength to strength.




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Posted on Friday 4th March 2022

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