Illawarra five in Aussie team for judo championships

JUDO

Five Illawarra-based athletes will head to New Zealand later this month as part of the Australian Team competing at the Oceania Judo Championships.

Jordan, Anthony and Kosta Kouros, Paige Walker and Tinka Easton all earned spots on the green and gold team after impressive starts to 2014.

The quintet will compete on April 26 with a strong month of training at the Illawarra International Judo Club at Kembla Grange under their belt.

"They have done it all themselves," coach Ben Broadhead said. "They have trained hard and done all the work so it is good to see them get the reward that they deserve for their efforts."

Woonona teen Walker will contest her first competition for Australia in the Cadet Women's under 44kg category.

Unanderra twin brothers Jordan and Anthony will compete in the Cadet Men's (under-18s) 73kg category while their older brother Kosta heads the Australian team for the Junior Men's (under-21s) 81kg category.

Easton, 18, is a member of the Bushido Judo Club in Berry, but trains in the Illawarra and will look to medal in the Junior Women's 52kg division.

Training up to five times a week, Broadhead believes his pupils are on the right path to success.

"If you want to reach an international career in the sport you have to be doing that sort of work just to compete, let alone get results," Broadhead said. "It is was all the top guys are doing."

The athletes will head into the tournament after one of the Illawarra Judo Club's most successful NSW State Championships ever last month where they claimed seven titles.

"It was fantastic. My grandfather started the club 50 years ago and my father is still the head coach and that is as good as a result which we have received over the last 50 years or so," Broadhead said.

"It was more [impressive] in the way that everyone from the club played their judo.

"Their attitude and application was fantastic. Their sportsmanship was great and they were fit and strong."

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