Monday, February 22, 2010

Judo exponent has Olympics in sights

EAGLEHAWK’S Shayann Stuart has come a long way from training in her dad’s backyard judo studio, with the young judo star set to make her mark on the world stage.
The 18-year-old, who is a member of the Australian Institute of Sport’s national talent identification and development program, recently took out the ACT International Senior Open in the under-52kg division and is on her way to claiming the Oceania-Australian number one ranking.

Trained by her father Stephen Stuart at the Bendigo Judo Academy at the back of their family home in Eaglehawk, Shayann took out the ACT International by earning a half score.

“To win, you need to get a full-score throw to win instantly. It goes for five minutes and you have to get a score in that time to end up winning or to win it sooner you just get the full score, which is a perfect winning technique.

“I won my finals with a half score, which meant I fought for five minutes and to win with a half score means taking out the opponent by choking, holding, locking or throwing.”

Shayann’s greatest test came in 2009 when she competed in the Oceania Judo Championships, where she was overpowered by an experienced international competitor.

“I was against a girl who competed in the Olympics in Athens and I also went against a girl who went in the Olympics from Luxembourg and lasted in that match the whole time.

“An Olympian should beat someone that has been in anything like that straight away, so her coach went off at her for that, so I was pretty happy with that.”

With the future in mind, Shayann has recently given up her place studying beauty therapy and is now solely focused on her international judo goals.”

I’m going to compete in a lot of tournaments now to get my points up to be able to compete in the Olympics in 2012.

“Winning this competition (ACT International Open), besides the national titles, this is the biggest event in Australia and because I won it, it gets me selected for bigger tournaments and the points you score there are the points that could get me in the Olympics.”

This year, Shayann will compete in judo events across the world, including events in Europe, Asia and Oceania.

With the Olympic Games as her ultimate goal, Shayann will now aim to reclaim her number one ranking in the sport for Oceania.
She will be aiming to do so at next month’s Queensland International event.
“I’m ranked number two, just below the number one at the moment.
“I was number one, but the Olympian I competed against in Samoa scored above me.
“If I win my next tournament in Queensland I’ll be number one again in Oceania and Australia.”

Shayann will next compete in Strasburg, Germany, as part of the AIS national talent Identification and development program from March 14-26.

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