Liberty Bell Judo Classic

Apr 27, 2019 - Apr 28, 2019 |

    The 32nd Annual Liberty Bell Judo Classic occurred on Saturday April 27th and Sunday April 28th in Bryn Athyn, PA. Having taken over the tournament from their fathers, tournament directors Adam Moyerman and Kristin El Idrissi felt it was important to switch the tournament back to two days for the first time in years to accommodate competitors, coaches, referees, and parents and facilitate continued growth. Instead of a tournament ending in the evening 2 days of competition allowed for each day to end in the early afternoon. Between the two-days, over 500 judokas competed, 208 senior and veterans on Saturday and 308 juniors on Sunday. The tournament also had six IJF-A level referees, with some referees coming from as far as Oregon to officiate the high-level competition.

    On Saturday senior and veteran competitors came from all over North America to compete for places on the podium and prize money of up to$750 for 1st place in elite categories. This year senior male divisions were split into Novice, Brown, and Elite to promote more opportunities for competition. One highlight match of the day was the 15 minute marathon contest between Isadora Friedlander and Regina Arias in the Female Elite -57 kg category.

    Sunday's junior competition featured elite level competition from all over with divisions as big as 24 competitors. Junior divisions ranged from Intermediate to IJF Junior categories and were switched to year of birth over age to align with junior nationals. Competition was fierce, especially with many nationally ranked competitors fighting in 2 divisions. One highlight of the day was watching brothers Ronin and Amin Bakhtiyor battle each other for first place in both Cadet 60 and 66 kg categories.

    Special Awards were given throughout the weekend:

    1. The Phyllis and Eichi Koiwai Award for excellence in refereeing was given to Kei Narimatsu
    2. The Scott Latimer Memorial Award given to a collegiate judoka who strives for excellence both on and off the mat was given to Ari Berliner
    3. The Mark Smith Memorial Award given to a coach who gives selflessly and recognizes the different abilities in others was given to Marc Vink


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