Longdean’s Ryhs proves that he is top of the chops

Martial arts
Martial arts

A Longdean School pupil showed plenty of fighting spirit as he won gold at the British National Judo Championships held at the weekend.

Rhys Rowlands, 14, came top in the U55kg weight class for U15 boys, despite going into the competition ranked fifth and being the smallest of the competitors in his category.

In his first fight of the day, he threw the reigning title holder, before going on through the rounds to defeat the largest boy in his age group in the final fight to win the title.

A member of Adeyfield Judo Club since the age of six, Rowlands hopes to begin training with the national judo squad in the next few months. This will pit him against some of the best judo fighters in the country from the various judo councils.

Rowlands is also a top-ranked U15 athlete and is currently ranked second in the Chiltern League cross country series in his age group, running for Dacorum & Tring Athletics Club.

Fellow judo starlet Jordan Duffy, also from Hemel Hempstead, won gold in the same age category as Rowlands at the British National Judo Championships but in a heavier class.