British Masters 2014


Generations of local judo players will be delighted to learn that Mitch Agnelli, Guernsey Judo’s head coach, has won a British Masters title.

Competing in only his second competition in 15 years, the previous one being in January 2012 when he competed in Cardiff at the Commonwealth Judo Championships, the 69-year-old was back on the mat competing in the men’s (M8), Under 90kg category in Kidderminster.

On paper, one could say the odds were very much against him. His fellow competitor happened to be none other than the current world champion, Terry Watts. The 7th Dan, now 67, is an icon in British Judo, having competed on the international stage for many years and represented Great Britain at the 1972 Olympics.

He has a tally of 27 gold medals from European and World championships, and has competed in 34 different countries throughout his career. His latest triumph was in Spain in September, when he took gold at the World Championships.

One can only assume that his first thought going into the British Masters was that the gold was going to be his. Agnelli had other ideas. Agnelli had known Watt for man years and knew his style. Their clash lasted the full duration of three minutes and with not one single throw scored the Guernseyman won the contest on penalty points. He was judged to have put in enough attacks throughout the contest and managed to defend against any that were oncoming by Watts to enable to scores to go in his favour. By the end Watts had two penalties against Agnelli’s zero. 

‘It was the most tactical contest I’ve ever been involved in,’ said Agnelli afterwards.

Also competing at the Masters was Ady Carre, who had a total of seven contests that were split between two categories - men’s  (M4) Under 90kg and then men’s 1st Kyu (grade banded).

The M4 was made into a knockout whereby if you lost your first contest, you were dropped into the repechage, where a competitor then fights in a knockout match for one of the two bronze medals.

Carre lost his first contest to a 2nd Dan black belt, which automatically dropped him into the repechage. His next contest saw him come up against a 3rd Dan black belt, in which he managed to win in two minutes of the three minute duration. But unfortunately for Carre he then lost to a fighter who would go on to win one of the bronze medals.

Not downhearted, he moved into the men’s 1st Kyu (open weight) competition whereby the group was split into two separate pools of four; with the top two in each pool going onwards to fight for the medals.

After three contests, Carre came second in his pool, which meant he would face the winner of the opposite pool, to either go to the final and fight for gold or lose and come away with a bronze. Althought Carre lost this contest to the eventual gold medalist, he left with a well deserved bronze medal around his neck.