CELEBRATIONS are underway at Harewood College in Bournemouth after brothers Jake and Daniel Grant each scooped a bronze medal at the World Junior and Cadet Kurash Championships.
Twenty-four countries were represented at the event on Saturday October 27 and Sunday October 28 at Harewood College, and athletes from Uzbekistan, where kurash (a style of wrestling similar to judo) is a national sport, were the star performers.
Jake, 15, a pupil at the school convincingly beat South Africa’s Alexander Chetty in his opening bout of the cadet under-60 kilo category before losing in the semi-final to eventual gold medallist Sacha Flament of France.
His brother Daniel, 17, a former Harewood student who now attends Bournemouth and Poole College, took the fight to Uzbekistan’s Azim Abaydullaev in the semi-final of the junior under-73 kilo weight category before the greater experience and class of his opponent told. They were among thirteen British medal winners.
Organiser Paul Sawyer, examinations manager at the school, former kurash champion and coach to the boys at Matsumachi Judo Club, Littledown, said: “We are incredibly proud of Jake and Daniel who were both delighted with their performances.
“They trained incredibly hard, with the final weeks focussing particularly on kurash-specific gripping tactics. They stuck firmly to their game plan and the results showed.”
Sawyer added: “They were up against athletes from countries where kurash has been part of the cultural fabric for centuries.
“We were also very proud of the 80 staff and students from Harewood and Avonbourne Colleges who volunteered over the weekend. We hosted such a successful championship that talks are now focused on holding the President of Uzbekistan tournament here next year.”
Hundreds of spectators, including Bournemouth Mayor Cllr Philip Stanley-Watts, attended the Roy Moore Sports Hall to watch athletes from as far afield as Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Chinese Taipei and Botswana.
Other local athletes included 17-year-old Tyler Charig from Ferndown who celebrated a bronze medal in the junior under-52 kilo class and 16-year-old Oliver Jackson who was eliminated by eventual silver medallist Saddam Axmetov of Uzbekistan in the first round.
The world championships included traditional Uzbek singing and dancing and attracted dignitaries from around the world, including Uzbekistan’s Ambassador to the UK HE Mr Otabek Akbarov.