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Olympic Judo


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Was a good day of action - it was the first day of the games, first session so we saw the lightweight classes - up to the quarter finals.

Both the GBR entries, Ashley MacKenzie and Kelly Edwards both drew Japan - tough draw. They both fought hard but they both got edged out.Ashley MacKenzie is an interesting character - diagnosed with ADHD and banned from British Judo four times, sometimes for drinking, he's a bit of a rough diamond. He got penalised twice during his fight - once for visible shoving his opponent after they both fell outside the mat together and once for passivity (he deliberately took a moment to tuck his gi in, tie his belt and get a breath).

We ended up sitting next to the coach for Ireland's ladies entry, Lisa Kearney. He was a huge, friendly guy - he helped me understand the rules a little better and gave some great commentary on it all! (I understand the rules for competition Kendo just fine, but not Judo!)

She drew China and again, fought hard but got beaten. :(It was interesting to see all the little groups of supporters for the various nations - and to hear them when their fighters came on. There was a huge Japanese contingent making noise, singing etc whenever one of their players was fighting, but whenever any of the GBR or IRL fighters were on mat, the noise was crazy :)

For my money, the best fight was the penultimate quarter final between France and Japan Men's - that was a Battle Royale that went to extra time and then a referee's decision. The noise the crowd made while waiting for the decision was electric - singing, stamping - awesome :) Was worth visiting for that fight alone!

Have uploaded some video on YouTube of the end of that fight and the racket the crowd made while waiting for the decision:

Sadly the beeb didn't include that fight in their coverage, neither did they include Lisa Kearney's fight for IRL :(Here is a link to the event on iPlayer:


Ashley MacKenzie's fight is around 37.00 minutes in.

Here's a documentary about him - "The Bad Boy Olympian" from BBC Three:


So that's all good stuff... Other things, I wish this could have been held in the Olympic Park - as it is we had to go to the regular old ExCeL centre. It's a spacious, modern venue - but not particularly exciting.

I want to see the Olympic Park before the games finish - anyone got tickets to an event there?And there wasn't a single McDonalds to be found in there anywhere... How strange :)

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