2009 OJU World Cup
By Fiona Iredale
Australia has finished the 2009 OJU World Cup in Samoa on top of the medals table with 5 gold medals, 2 silvers and 10 bronzes. This was the first world ranking points scoring tournament to be held in the Oceania region.
World ranking points are used to separate the top players in the draws and a number of
Australians are now in stronger positions to go forward to their next international competitions as a result of their performances here. In the 2 years leading up to the London Olympics, the world ranking list will be the basis for Olympic selection, so this tournament will be even more critical in terms of points next year.
Gold medals for Australia came from Mark Anthony (-90kg), Jake Andrewartha (+100kg), Emily Bensted (-57kg), Stephanie Grant (-78kg) and Janelle Shepherd (+78kg).
Mark dominated the -90kg division, convincingly defeating 2 New Zealanders and local
favourite, the Samoan Nataeliga. In the +100kg division which was heavily loaded with Australians, youngster Jake Andrewartha took full advantage of his first round bye and then proceeded to quickly despatch all his other opponents. Australia also picked up a silver and a bronze in this division. Jason Phillips won through to the final after 2 gruelling battles with huge Pacific islanders – including a notable win over popular Fijian Olympian Nacanieli Takayawa. Terry Frankcombe also secured bronze in this division.
In the -57kg division, Emily Bensted and club mate Carli Renzi were drawn against each other in the first round, with Emily emerging the victor after a hard battle. Emily went on to quickly defeat the Kiwi, Ana Moceyawa in the final to take the gold medal while Carli went on to take the bronze.
Stephanie Grant convincingly won the -78kg division with wins over PNG and New Zealand while Janelle Shepherd, in her first major competition after a post-Olympic break, took out the gold in the +78kg division.
In the -63kg division, Kylie Koenig defeated a strong Kiwi to proceed to the final against
China. Kylie almost scored with a strong yoko tomoenage but was eventually thrown for ippon and takes home the silver.
In the womens divisions, Hannah Trotter (-48kg), Sonya Chervonsky (-52g), Carli Renzi (-57kg) and Margi Corfios (-63kg) won bronze. For the men, bronze medals were won by Matt D’Aquino and Arnie Dickins in the -60kg division; Steven Brown in -66s; Brent Iverson in - 81s; Josh Dahl in -100s; and Terry Franckcombe in +100s.
Coaches Gavin Kelly and Daniel Kelly, while pleased with the overall results, agree that there is still plenty of work to be done in the 4 day training camp being held after the competition and will be taking advantage of that opportunity.
The organisation of the whole competition by the local organising committee and the OJU executive has been fantastic and as a result this tournament has been awarded to Samoa for the next 3 years.