England will walk away from the IMMAF European Championships with eight medals. Four of those will be bronze. The number of silver and gold will be determined tomorrow.
Seven athletes were in action today in the semi-finals. Four are through to the finals, with an all-England showdown in the women’s Lightweight division.
Head Coach Paul Kelly said:
“We’ve had a good day. Four through to the final. One of the finals is two of our English fighters together, so a tough one, but it is what it is.”
Jordan Molinari was up first today and battled a Ukrainian, who used his grappling well. Jordan takes home a bronze medal.
Kelly Staddon faced a tough German opponent in Songuel Karatorak. Kelly used her Judo to throw her a number of times, but Songuel’s effective striking won her the unanimous decision. Congratulations to Kelly on her bronze medal.
Millie-Rae Vardy out-classed her Swedish opposition over three rounds. She landed her jab consistently and managed to fend off her opponent’s takedowns. Millie’s victory puts her in the Lightweight final.
Joining her in the final is Lisa Zimmo. Lisa dominated her Italian opponent, winning via TKO in the second round. Lisa said:
“It’s exactly what I’ve been dreaming ever since I heard about IMMAF. I knew I was going to be that number one person standing on that podium and I’m not going to f****** give up. I’m going to get there and prove to everyone I’m number one.”
Then Summer Onley made her IMMAF debut. Summer is the number one ranked female amateur in the UK, so hopes were high she’d make it to the final. In the second round she submitted her opponent with an armbar. She faces Cecilie Bolander in the final – the 2021 IMMAF World silver medallist and World Cup gold medallist. Summer is looking forward to the contest, explaining:
“I think I know who I’m fighting, and it just so happens she’s good at armbars… so I’m looking forward to testing my skills against someone else who’s really good on the ground.”
George Staines faced an Irish opponent in his semi-final and performed flawlessly. George has more than lived up to the hype he brought to the competition, is still undefeated, and will face Ukrainian Ivan Kurelaru in the final tomorrow.
Finally, Mitchell Goode competed in the Light-Heavyweight semi-final and lost a close decision. Mitchell takes home a bronze medal.
When asked whether he expected such a strong outing for England in this competition, Paul Kelly responded:
“My personal thoughts, which I didn’t share but I’ll say now, was that we would get between seven and nine medals. That’s what I thought was possible. We’re coming out with 8 so I feel a bit like Mystic Mac.”
Mystic Mac, or Prophetic Paul?