Wonder girl Willis becomes the new Queen of British judo
PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 February 2012
Â© mike varey 2011
Stratford Judo Club’s Hayley Willis pulled off a shock by winning gold recently in the senior British trials.
And it wasn’t the world junior bronze medallist’s only success over the weekend, as she also picked up the junior title at Ponds Forge in Sheffield.
In a pool alongside Kelly Edwards, Harikat Sekhon, Kimberley Renicks and Charlotte Farbon, Willis was able to defeat all four to take top honours.
The 16-year-old defeated Farbon thanks to a five-point penalty against her opponent, while getting the better of Renicks in her second fight via an ippon as a result of a hold.
She overcame Sekhon through a waza-ari throw and in her final fight, Willis then defeated Edwards by Ippon to take the senior crown.
Another bonus for the world junior bronze medallis was she gained enough points in the competition to qualify for her black belt.
“I went in with no pressure which I think helped my performance, and I felt strong on the day,” said the Junior World bronze medallist.
“My main aim was to win the juniors and I wanted to just use the seniors to gain experience.
“It is more rewarding for me to see a good performance rather than the result, as it shows where my training has helped me improve.”
British Judo boss Daniel Lascau said: “I’m very pleased with Hayley Willis because she confirmed her ability at this level after winning the junior title on Saturday and she’s a very good judoka.”
Willis is a member of the 27-strong Olympic Squad and will be hoping to continue to impress the selectors as she tries to make her Olympic bow in six months’ time at the ExCel.
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