Golden displays set standard for Gosport

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Bradley Lethbridge scored twice for Pompey. Picture: Colin Farmery

Lethbridge double inspires Pompey Academy comeback

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Perry English and Sandro Sutter completed a win double as Gosport Judo Club got 2014 off to a golden start at the Kent Kyu Open.

It was a particularly memorable tournament for the Forton Road outfit, with the final of the under-81kg category event a family affair.

English was faced with the challenge of taking on his younger brother Ben in the battle for gold.

The duo produced a lively contest, with Perry taking the victory.

Meanwhile Sutter, from Switzerland, who trains at the south coast club, won the under-90kg category.

Gosport coach Sarah Hopkins feels their success can be the start of a big year.

She said: ‘They performed brilliantly on the day and did Gosport judo club really proud.

‘Sandro fought first and just blasted everybody. It was good experience for him.

‘He had five fights in the under-90kg category and won them all with straight ippons. He was just amazing.

‘Perry had two cracking fights and then threw his brother, who also performed really well.’

Perry, 18, and Ben, 17, were two of the younger competitors in their category.

But they showed no fear, knocking aside more experienced rivals before facing off in the final.

They have different approaches and the contrast in styles made for an enthralling contest.

Hopkins added: ‘It can be tough for them to come up against each other.

‘They both have different strengths and weaknesses.

‘Ben is strong on ground work and Perry is very good on standing.’

Sutter, 32, was far from finished after he picked up his gold medal.

He was also entered in the heavyweight category and competed in an extra three fights.

Hopkins, who has won a glittering collection of masters gold medals on the international stage, reckons Sutter can achieve big things.

She feels the demanding schedule will help his progress.

‘We put him in with the heavyweights as well,’ said Hopkins.

‘He had another three fights against heavy players, weighing more than 100kg.

‘We put him in with that group to give him experience and he was really pleased with how it went.

‘He could fight world masters. Sandro is a tall guy and we’re trying to use his height to his advantage.’

Sutter and the English brothers have been training with Sam Potts, from Locks Heath, when he comes down from his high performance judo base in Bath.

Hopkins said: ‘We are putting Sandro with Sam, when Sam has been around.

‘Sandro is really listening to us and is going really well.

‘Perry and Ben always want to train with Sam when they can.

‘They both got good compliments for their fighting in Kent and it was a step up from previous competitions.’