MARTIAL ARTS: TWO members of a south Essex Judo Club proved they were among the best of British at the weekend.

Southend's Shaun Mitty and Adrian Besley have been training for the last 12 months for the British Masters event in Belfast.

And it paid off as Mitty won gold and Besley silver in an event that attracted the best judo masters from the UK and around the world.

Besley, who lives in Southend, had already won gold at the master in the past but Mitty, who is from Leigh, was making his debut at the championships.

“Words can’t express how proud we are of them in the club; this is phenomenal,” said Southend Judo Club chairman “Both Shaun and Adrian have been training like mad men for the event as they wanted to win medals.

“I have to say I would not like to have been on the receiving end of their judo throws.”

Mitty and Besley have now both secured call-ups to the British masters squad for the European and World Masters championships next year.

Both fighters will be in action next at the Southend club’s international judo champion-ships on October 27 and 28 at Southend Tennis & Leisure Centre.

More than 800 junior, senior and masters judoka from around the world will compete at the two-day event, which is in its third year.