Day Three Round-up – Early Exits for Clark and Williams

Sarah Clark and Danny Williams lost out in their opening contests despite putting up spirited displays against top seeds at the ExCeL Arena in London’s Docklands.

Olympic debutant Danny Williams, 23 and from Shrewsbury, was in a strong position in his -73kg clash against Beijing bronze medallist and reigning world champion Rasul Boqiev, and was on the verge of taking his decorated Tajikistan rival into golden score.

However, Boqiev had other ideas and caught Williams with 20 seconds remaining to progress by ippon.

“I had a game plan and I stuck to it,” said Williams, who finished seventh at his first world championships in 2010.

“It worked well for four and a half minutes, but I got caught. That’s judo. I’m a bit gutted at the moment but I’ll reflect on things.”

Three-time Olympian Sarah Clark, 34 and from South Shields, met reigning European bronze medallist Automne Pavia of France in the -57kg category and slipped to defeat by a waza-ari score.

“The crowd helped massively and I used it to my advantage, but unfortunately it was not to be,” said the three-time Olympian. 

“You have got to put everything in otherwise you have doubts. I had none going into this, I was in the best shape of my life. 

“There is nothing more I could have done. In the fight, I made one small mistake which has unfortunately cost me possibly an Olympic gold medal.”

Continuing, she said: “I am not the oldest athlete in the Olympics by any stretch, so I think there will be lots of opportunities ahead of here, in whatever I decide to do. 

“We will take the next two weeks in the village supporting the team and then go from there to decide where my future lies, either inside the sport as a competitor or with something else, we will just have to wait and see.”

On the remaining four days of action, Clark commented, “There is massive potential and we have even more to come, we can only go up from here. 

“We have got a good squad with chances for medals and some of the younger athletes will be able to take a lot from these Games to go onto Rio in 2016.”