12th Open Masters International 2015


Guernsey Judo Club's chief instructor, Mitch Agnelli, has struck gold  yet again when he competed in the 12th Open Masters International Tournament held in the Halle Monconseil, Tours, north west France on the 19th April 2015.

This is his third gold medal at three International events, the previous two were the British Open Masters in October last year where he defeated the 2014 World Masters Champion, 7th Dan Terry Watt from Northern Ireland. The other event was the 7th Eurometropole Masters held in Lille, north east France at the end of January this year.

This latest tournament attracted some 300 competitiors who were divided into age and weight categories. Mitch was competing at under 81 kilogrammes for M9 competitors who are aged between 69 - 74 years.

His first contest was against the same adversary he defeated in Lille, french black belt Max Suard, who was fighting in his home town of Tours.

Mitch realised that Suard would be expecting the same techniques to be used against him but Mitch managed to outfox him again by changing tactic, throwing Suard early in the contest with a knock-down for a 5 point score, which he then followed up with a hold down, needing to maintain the hold for 20 seconds to win the bout. Unfortunately for his french opponent, Mitch  did not   need the full 20 seconds as, in his attempt to escape, Suard left an arm exposed for a split second, Mitch immediately grabbed the arm and applied an elbow lock, forcing Suard to tap out in submission.

The second bout was against another frenchman  who was originally entered in the younger age group M8 at 65-69 years. Mitch took his usual cautious approach, testing out his opponents strengths and weakneses in the early part of the contest. Having established that his younger opponent was very strong, Mitch made sure he didn't give him the chance of taking him to the mat. By keeping up the attacks, this made his opponent become over defensive, resulting in a penalty being awarded against him. This meant that, provided he kept up the work rate for the remainder of the bout, Mitch was going to win yet another Masters title.

When the bell sounded for the end of the contest it was a delighted, if not somewhat relieved, Guernseyman who was awarded the Gold Medal. Mitch's comment was "You don't need to win pretty every time, winning ugly now and again is just part of the overall plan."