Gibbons and Schlesinger strike six in February

Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons struck gold in the Czech Republic on another brilliant weekend for British Judo.

Gibbons won the -78kg title in at the European Open in Prague to take her medal tally for the month to three, following her bronzes in the European Opens in Obewart and Sofia.

And she was not the only British success in Prague as Alice Schlesinger also claimed her third medal of the month when taking silver in the -63kg category, following on from her gold at the Grand Prix in Dusseldorf and silver at the Sofia European Open.

As well as the medals, both girls also picked up more valuable points in their race to make it to the Rio 2016 Olympics.

And it was not just about the girls at the weekend, as Philip Awiti-Alcaraz won his first medal since returning from injury with bronze in the -100kg category at the European Open in Warsaw.

We take a look at their journey towards their medals below: 


Gibbons’ path to gold began with victory by ippon over Hungary’s Evelin Salanki. She beat Russia’s Alena Kachorovskaya by two shidos to one and then impressively beat Korea’s Yu-Jin Park by ippon. In the final, she faced Samanta Soares of Brazil and a close contest ended with victory for the Briton by two shidos to one for the top spot on the -78kg podium.


Schlesinger started in fine form with ippon wins against Tereza Patockova of Czech Republic and Danielle Oliviera of Brazil, who she beat within 17 seconds. She won by waza-ari by Da-Woon Joung of South Korea in the next round for a place in the semi-finals where she beat Tserennadmid Tsend-Ayush of Mongolia with a waza-ari to make the final. But her hopes of a second gold in as many weeks were dashed as she lost by ippon to Russia’s Marta Labazina. Still silver was a superb result.


Philip Awiti Alcaraz

Over in Warsaw, Awiti-Alcaraz also began impressively with wins by ippon over Italy’s Pablo Luciano Tomasetti and Estonia’s Grigori Minaskin. However, he then lost by ippon to Frederik Joergensen of Denmark and went into the repechage. There, he edged a close contest with Ramziddin Sayidov of Uzbekhistan by two shidos.
That put him into a tough-looking bronze-medal match against home favourite Jakub Wojick of Poland. Then Awiti-Alcaraz produced another superb display to beat the Pole by ippon and claim the bronze.

“It feels good to be back from injury and fully training again,” he said.

“Training at the Centre of Excellence (CoE) has been great because it has helped me get fit and strong for this competition.”

Words by Donna Richardson. Images by Miroslav Petrik.