Kristof Frankowski (6th Dan IJF) and Daniel Indyke (2nd Dan IJF) proudly represented SUJC in Tokyo for the Veterans International Judo Championships, formerly known as the Masters.
All three of Kristof’s opponents were Japanese and he beat all three by ippon with a drop seo-nagi and a hold down. Not only did Kristof take gold at the Kodokan but he is the only Australian to win it at the prestigious home of judo, not once but twice.
With just five days rest between fights, Kristof flew to Málaga, Spain for the World Judo Veterans Championships. He began, facing off against an American who he beat with a convincing drop seo nagi. His second match was against a Brazilian who he threw for wazari with another drop seo nagi. Unfortunately this move damaged his rotator cuff, stopping but not ending his run in the competition, where Kristof went on to beat his opponent, with a devastating yoko tomanagi and then a difficult Frenchman on points. In the semifinal his shoulder injury prevented effective grip fighting and his rival, an experienced Russian, won on points and went to the final where he faced a fellow Russian to win the entire event. Despite a serious injury, now being treated, Kristof won bronze in his weight and age class.
Daniel had two fights against two Japanese players at the Kodokan. He quickly won the first with an unforgiving holdown: tati shiho gatami but unfortunately his next fight saw him disqualified. Against a much taller opponent he instinctively (and now illegally) grabbed his leg but Daniel’s efforts were enough to award him a silver medal.
Singling him out as ‘the best player at the World Veterans Judo Championships’, Kristof was shadowed by a camera crew for two days. The footage will be used for a documentary by the International Judo Federation, details of which are expected to appear on the IJF Veterans Commission website shortly.
In addition to his other experience, Kristof has now competed in 9 Masters tournaments. Despite placing third in Spain, his world ranking remains unchanged- at number one. Upon the successful rehabilitation of his shoulder injury, and at 62 years old, he intends to compete again at world championship level next year.