Fletcher and Pitman seal Italian Job

A self-funded British contingent travelled to compete in the Rome World Cup on the weekend as Megan Fletcher and Faith Pitman took the plaudits in the Italian capital.

The two-day event bucked the post-Olympic trend of low entry for international competitions by attracting 37 countries and 308 judoka.

Megan Fletcher, 23, opened her -70kg campaign with a win against home judoka and multiple-time national champion Marisa Celletti.

The Team Bath and Pinewood judoka then dispatched French youngster and 2009 Junior World silver medallist Lucie Perrot by way of two yuko scores and a waza-ari.

In the semi-final Fletcher went into golden score against French starlet Fanny Estelle Posvitebut and pulled out the win by a yuko.

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix bronze medallist Linda Bolder, who finished in fifth-place at this year’s European Championships, outworked Fletcher to take the gold as she scored a yuko and waza-ari before sealing victory by ippon.

Fletcher’s silver medal is arguably the best result of her young career as she graced the World Cup medal rostrum for the first time in Rome.

Faith Pitman, 27, downed 2012 Italian Championship bronze medallist Marianna Marinosci by a yuko before registering victory via the same method against Croatian prodigy Andreja Dakovic.

The West Essex Judo Club player then fought French veteran and 2010 European bronze medallist Anne Laure Poli in the semi-final and lost out by a yuko.

That defeat saw Pitman revert to the repechage and the bronze medal contest where she impressively overcome Austria’s 2011 European bronze medallist by a waza-ari.  

Elsewhere James Austin become the first London 2012 Olympian to return to action as he defeated 2012 British Open silver medallist Tomasz Domanski by ippon before bowing out with a loss to Italian Vincenzo D Arco.

Graham Trinder, Natalie Powell and Kimberley Renicks all finished in fifth-place.

Trinder, 26, reeled off three dominant wins before a titanic tussle against Austria’s Beiing silver medallist Ludwig Paischer. Two-time world medallist Paischer was the aggressor and earned a hard-fought victory with three yuko scores.

Pinewood and Edinburgh judo Club talent Trinder was unsuccessful in his subsequent bronze medal contest as Italian Carmine Maria Di Loreto’s waza-ari topped Trinder’s two yuko scores.

Wales’ Natalie Powell produced two victories before falling to German Annika Heise in the semi-final. The 21-year-old was due to face Canada’s Catherine Roberge in the bronze medal contest but had to withdraw due to a migraine.

Scot Kimberley Renicks won two contests before losing her semi-final against Italian Valentina Moscatt.

Renicks, 24, then fell to defeat in the bronze medal contest against Poland’s former Junior European Champion Ewa Konieczny.

Click here for official Rome World Cup results