Horton closes out 2022 with triple judo medal haul
Veteran judoka Chris Horton closed out an eventful 2022 season with a gold and two bronze medals at Masters competitions across England and Ireland in October.
First up for the Isle of Man (Southern) Judo Club member was the British Masters in Guildford.
Entering the M3 (40-44) category at under-100kg, Horton had a tough start in his early contests, as he was up against two of the medallists from the last time the event was held in 2019.
He refocussed himself for the bronze medal contest and capitalised on a mistake by his opponent to pin him for the required 20 seconds and secure not only a place on the podium, but the opportunity to represent Great Britain at international veterans’ events in 2023.
Fresh from that success, the Peel man travelled to Dublin the following weekend to take part in the Irish Masters.
Learning from the experiences from the week before he recorded three wins by the maximum Ippon score in the heavyweight category, showing a range of counters and throwing techniques to secure the gold.
Later in the day, he also stepped up for the Masters open weight competition, where, despite suffering his only defeat of the tournament in the opening round, he battled back in the repechage to reach the bronze medal match.
In this he launched a trademark sacrifice technique followed by a hold-down that his opponent had no chance of escaping from.
These competitions closed out a busy 2022 for Horton, who had started the year on the Commonwealth Games longlist and a nominee for Isle of Man Sport’s Veteran Athlete of the Year, but injuries and the cancellation of events due to Covid-19 put paid to any lingering hopes of reaching the qualification standard for Birmingham 2022.
The medals earned last month will join the bronze earned at the Northern Ireland Masters in April.
Chris would like to thank everyone involved in judo locally for their support this year, and also to those at Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the additional training.
As chairman of the Isle of Man Judo team he is looking for sponsors to assist himself and a team of judoka in off-island travel costs for events lined up next year, the pinnacle of which will be the alternative Island Games competition to be held in Aland in July.
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