Three Scots topped the podium in the senior events at the Scottish Open Judo Championships as the Team Scotland Series kicked off in style in Edinburgh on Saturday 14 January.
With the opening event of the series attracting competitors from across the globe, the competition was fierce but rising star Scott Thomson overcame England’s Aaron Hales in the Men’s -60kg final to take gold, Michelle Boyle triumphed in the Women’s Over 78kg as she targets success on this year’s Senior European Circuit and Edinburgh’s Valentino Volante made it three Scottish wins with a successful switch down in weight category to -100kg.
Though not on the top step of the rostrum, there was a welcome return from a long term shoulder injury for Glasgow 2014 gold medallist Kimberley Renicks. She took silver in the Women’s -52kg event, losing out to 2015 winner Julia Scardone in the final.
The Team Scotland Series offers the chance to see future Team Scotland athletes in action and, with the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas just six months away, some of Scotland’s brightest young stars were testing their form in the junior categories. Top performance from those targeting a Youth Games place came from Imogen Walls of the Sportif club with bronze in the -48kg event. She and others in the running for a place on Team Scotland now face a series of domestic and international qualifying tournaments before final selections are made in May.
Next in the Team Scotland Series is the Scottish Athletics Indoor Championships and, with selection windows for both Bahamas 2017 and Gold Coast 2018 open and athletes battling it out for the chance to call themselves Scottish champion, all eyes will be on Glasgow’s Emirates Arena on 28 January.
Photo credit: Yvonne Campbell