2019 Brasilia Grand Slam – Brazil 6-8 Oct 19 Really proud of Nathan and Josh. This was a great chance for me to work with them again at the coalface from the training at home on the mat and in the gym, and in Sao Paulo in the final preparation, to the competition itself. Everything went well albeit a hard draw with Josh picking up Guatamala in the first round and #2 Seed WRL #11 Takabatake (BRA) in the second round and Nathan picking up #2 Seed WRL #12 Lombardo (ITA) in his first round. Josh had a solid first match with a good Waza-Ari from Kouchi-Makikomi and then some great transition to Ne-Waza and the win from a Shime (strangle) submission. With Takabatake, Josh worked very hard albeit BRA's attacks had a greater impact on the match. The referee was very harsh with Josh's first Shido for a negative attack and then his third shido was also harsh ending the match prematurely. This was a disappointing way to end this competition but some fine Judo from Josh and some valuable OQ points. Nathan's match-up was difficult stylistically but he implemented a great gripping strategy and set an aggressive pace using his feet and a combination of left and right attacks. Lombardo was imposing with Sode and Kata-Guruma attacks and it was the latter which caught Nathan for a borderline Ippon with just on a minute to go. Again, some great fighting but without a win, unfortunately unrewarded for OQ points this time. The boys have proven that they are competitive against WRL top 10-15 athletes so I hope that more good preparation in Israel and some confident fighting in Abu Dhabi will reap the rewards they so richly deserve.