Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Judo

VIXENSPORTS AND JUDO

Join VixenSports as we follow the talent of Kiarn Kelly in Judo!! Kiarn will be sharing all of her Judo experiences right here!!

ABOUT KIARN KELLY

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Last year 2 days before the National Championships I tore my hamstring tendon. That put me out of action for a little while and I decided I’d take the rest of the year off from competition to let my injury heal properly and get my body in good condition.

Unfortunately my bad luck with injuries over the last few years has impacted my overall preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games, so I won’t be qualifying for the Games this time around :(. That said, I have a bunch of new goals for the next four years, including 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. So stay tuned for some exciting new directions with judo and also some wrestling!

The first competition of 2016 for me is at the end of February. Wish me luck!

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A couple of weeks ago I competed in the Oceania Judo Open. I was dealt a tough draw and unfortunately lost my first fight to a strong competitor from Canada. This meant I was unable to fight again, due to the numbers in my division (to fight in the repecharge you have to make it into the top 8). Obviously I was very disappointed after this competition, but it’s the way it goes sometimes! It was a really strong competition, with competitors from the USA, Great Britain, Korea, Hong Kong, Canada, Luxemburg, New Zealand and many more.

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So now I am looking at getting back to Europe in the new year to continue training and getting some more competitions under my belt.

Next year will be very busy for me as I try to really secure some Olympic selection points. Judo can be a really tough sport, not just physically but emotionally too. You can have days where you just don’t perform and you can lose so quickly, unlike other sports where you may have time to regather and adjust your performance. I guess that’s why it’s so appealing too, because of the physical and emotional challenges. It’s an individual sport, yet you rely so much on your training partners – your team. It’s all worth it in the end though, because when you win there’s no better feeling in the world!

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I have just returned from spending two months training in Europe – what a blast! I learnt so much, grew as an athlete and gained invaluable experience in training with some of the best athletes in the world. I spent my time over there predominantly in Valencia, Spain, where there is a high performance judo club that hosts Olympians and World and European medallists. My training over there was in preparation for the Olympic selection period which has now begun. I was also able to travel to Serbia to compete in a European Cup, in which I placed 7th. I’d have liked to have brought home a medal but it wasn’t meant to be at that competition. Live and learn!

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In two weeks I have an Olympic selection competition in Wollongong which I am aiming to do very well at. The Olympics seems so far away, but when you break it down into competitions, months and training time, it’s so close! Head down bum up!

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National Championships

After 12 very long months, I finally competed again over the long weekend! It was the Australian National Championships, ironically the same comp I busted my knee at last year. I felt really good leading up to the comp considering how little training I’d been able to get in post knee surgery. My goal for this competition was to enjoy it, fight well and just use it to get back into the swing of things – anything more would be a bonus. I ended up getting a second place, which I am overall content with, however still disappointed about losing the final. I fought well leading into the final, however my lack of recent mat time and being out of competition for so long showed. I lost focus about half way through and made significant strategical and technical mistakes. My opponent fought well and took advantage of those mistakes. So even though it’s left me a little disappointed, I’m still happy that I ticked all the boxes I set out to achieve in this comp. I had tremendous support after my knee reconstruction and in the lead up to my first comp, in particular from my coaches and my fiancé Josh (who is a bit of a judo freak!). I probably wouldn’t have had the same result if it wasn’t for these people, so I’m very, very grateful.

My next comp will be in 2 weeks time at the Auckland International Open. Again my goals will be similar, however I want to focus on fighting just a little bit better than last time. I’m trying to get in as much training and competition as I can at the moment so I can get back into the groove quickly and regain my number 1 ranking in Australia. It’s a long road ahead and the ultimate goal is Rio 2016, but I’m looking forward to the journey! There’ll be plenty of stories for me to share with you all!

Join VixenSports as we follow the talented Kiarn Kelly in Judo!! Kiarn will share all of her Judo stories right here!!