A fifth straight Australian judo title leads to Japan

DOMINATOR: Liam Yokoyama with the gold and bronze medals he won at the national titles. Picture: David Stewart
DOMINATOR: Liam Yokoyama with the gold and bronze medals he won at the national titles. Picture: David Stewart

JUDO player Liam Yokoyama of Bonnells Bay has won his fifth consecutive Australian title.

Competing at the Australian Judo Championships at Wollongong, the 16-year-old dominated all three bouts on his way to victory and a gold medal in the junior men's 60kg division.

He then stepped up into the senior (open age) men's division, where he won two bouts and lost his third, to claim the bronze medal.

Liam's technical skills are a particular strength, and it was his stand-up game and throws that outclassed his junior opponents in every round.

Liam is now ranked No 3 in Australia in his division in the senior ranks, which means he is on track to vie for selection in the Australian team to contest the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.

Liam will head to Japan this month with the National Talent Identification and Development Squad.

Japanese players dominate the judo world in the lighter weight divisions, and Liam is anticipating some invaluable training.

"The Japanese are all very professional about their judo. They live and breathe it," he said.

Liam also has his sights on competing in the World Cup event in Samoa in November