Last week seventeen judoka’s from the Mattekloppers traveled to Sheffield to compete in the USIST international student tournament against opponents from Holland, Germany and the United Kingdom. They entered the tournament with 2 teams: Groningen A consisted of Kim Smit (-63), Paula Borgonje (-63), Ingrid Engwerda (+63), Djim Segers (-73), Rick Nieters (-81), Benjamin Heeres (-90) and Niels Evers (+90). Groningen B consisted of Amy Smit (-63), Lizzy Coenraad (-63), Josine van Eck (-63), Anniek Potze (+63), Stefan Greuter (-73), Marcel Schöttler (-73), Niels Snippe (-81), Twan Hauch (-90), Stefan Sulkers (-90) and Casper Manting (+90).
Groningen A had to fight the teams of Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester in the poule fase. They easily won all their matches and proceeded to the next fase. Groningen B had to fight against the teams of Edinburgh, Leeds and Bradford. They had some tough matchups, but eventually also won all matches and moved on to the next fase. In the next fase the teams were put in elimination brackets. Groningen B lost after some thrilling matches with 3-2 to Radbout Nijmegen and were eliminated. Groningen A won from Aachen with 5-1 and moved on to the semifinals. In the semifinals they beat Münster with 4-1 and moved on to the finals. In the finals Groningen A beat Radbout Nijmegen with 4-2 to become the champions. There was a surprise at the price ceremony: Josine van Eck won the throw of the day for women with a beautiful sasae tsuri komi ashi (leg throw).
After the tournament our Mattekloppers got some fries and pizza and showed they had another hidden talent: Building towers! After a quick stop at the hotel our Mattekloppers went to the Fox & Duck pub for the Boat Race: In this race they had to show their skills with chugging beer. Unfortunately this race was lost, but joining seemed more important than winning. The night ended in a party in a club under the university of Sheffield. The next day we went home again, but looking back at a fantastic weekend!