Huge success for inaugural appearance at nationals

Zoo Fitness Judo team’s inaugural appearance at the Australian championships has resulted in a swag of medals.

Gold medal: Ryan Koenig (second from eft) of Zoo Fitness Judo on the podium after clinching gold at the Australia championships. Picture: Ippon Photos/A.Vongxayasy

Gold medal: Ryan Koenig (second from eft) of Zoo Fitness Judo on the podium after clinching gold at the Australia championships. Picture: Ippon Photos/A.Vongxayasy

The fledgling club fielded 12 athletes at this year’s national championships held in Queensland over the June long weekend, resulting in an impressive one gold, three silver and three bronze medals.

Ryan Koenig claimed gold in the senior boys under 45kg, while Ash Ticehurst, Josh Weightman and Blake Grenell-Buckley each took home silver in their respective junior divisions.

Josh Koenig clinched bronze in the junior boys under 38kg, while Kiarn Kelly and Nick Pearce brought home the bronze in the senior women and men's kyu grades respectively.

Coach Kylie Koenig, herself a former Commonwealth champion, said some divisions had up to 30 athletes competing with competitors having to win six fights just for a bronze medal.

“Saturday was a marathon effort with the competition going for 15 hours,” she said.

Zoo Fitness Judo only started 12 months ago, with junior members taking part in their first competition under the club banner in March, so Ms Koenig was exceptionally happy with the nationals results.

“I am extremely proud of all the athletes, given the short length of time they have been competing in the sport,” she said.

“I would have been happy for them to win a few matches, let alone come home with medals.

“The future of Zoo Judo is really promising.”

Full results from the club were: Ash Ticehurst - 2nd (Jnr girls); Mia Wozniak - 7th (Jnr girls); Josh Weightman - 2nd (Jnr boys); Max Wozniak - 5th (Jnr boys); Josh Koenig - 3rd (Jnr boys); Zavier Button - 5th (Jnr boys); Nate Ticehurst - unplaced; Ryan Koenig - 1st (Senior boys); Blake Grenell-Buckley - 2nd (Jnr boys); Kiarn Kelly - 3rd (Senior women); Nick Pearce - 3rd (Men's kyu grades); Chris Seymour - 5th (Men's kyu grades).

The Judo Federation of Australia stated more than 1,000 contests were fought over three days at championships, held at the new Commonwealth Games venue.

Those interested in joining the club can contact Zoo Fitness on 4744-2020.