The 2018 Commonwealth Judo Championships saw over 200 judoka from 11 Commonwealth nations competing across the past week. As for Jamaica, it was the first time that the country was able to be represented in the sport of Judo. This was done by elite judoka, Tom DAVIS, who by the end of today, won two gold medals across the heavy weights.
The first victory was claimed through the Masters on Tuesday, where Davis defeated his first two opponents by Ippon and won his final by an outstanding tactical work. Davis speaks about his experience amongst the Masters;
“The masters was my first competition for a while and on paper should have been easier but that brings expectation! Masters judo has grown so much over the past few years and it really was an international event! It was great to get some fights and come out with the win. The person I faced in the final had spent less than a minute on the mat in his previous 2 contests, so I knew it would be difficult, but I feel I am experienced even if in years gone by and managed the size and throwing ability of my opponent quite well, enough to win anyway.”
Today, Davis won the senior division by implementing his shime-waza skills during all his contests. The Jamaican Judoka added;
“The seniors is the event that counted even more as anyone can enter and throughout the week the level of judo from the home nation has impressed me, this didn’t change in the seniors. The event leaves me with lots to work on as it certainly wasn’t easy!”
This is only the beginning of a hectic road for Davis as he aims to carry the Jamaican flag all the way to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium. Recovering from injury and successfully bouncing back to international level, how much boost these gold medals give you heading into your Tokyo 2020 qualification next year?
“Always with this ambition it is about showing myself that I can grow and improve! Because if I am improving I give myself the opportunity to compete on the world stage again and do myself, my family and Jamaican Judo justice! I am happy that I was able to compete injury free and this is the start. There is a long road to Tokyo especially that judo has a 2 years qualification system. These two medal certainly gave the push and confirmation that I am back, and now I will continue to work towards Tokyo.”
The Jamaican national anthem was the last anthem played at the 2018 Commonwealth Judo Championships, marking memories for hundreds. What was it like to have it played for you for the first time, but twice in a week?
“It’s a proud moment to stand on the rostrum let alone on top and hear the nation anthem. It is something I didn’t experience very much or as much as I would have liked in previous years, it is massive. The night before my last event, I was secretly very proud thinking tomorrow would be the last anthem played at the commonwealth judo championships what a nice way to end the competition. Still impetus to hear it again, until next time.”
A long, yet very successful week came to an end for Davis in the city of Jaipur, India. How would you recap the past seven days?
“It’s been a great week in Jaipur! This is why I love the sport, getting to mix with other nationalities that share a common goal to win but the level of respect and friendship Is unheard of. I have met people that will be friends for life! Top of it I was able to draw history for Jamaican Judo, for which I am very pleased for our nation and for our sport. The Indian Judo Federation have done everything they can to make us feel welcome and that support just like I receive from the Jamaican Judo Association and the Olympic Association only leads to much better performances!”