British Judo enjoyed a successful weekend, as Great Britain topped the Bratislava European Cup medal table with seven medals.
London 2012 Olympians Sarah Clark and James Austin both scooped gold with a clean sweep of ippon victories at the competition between Saturday 7 September and Sunday 9 September in Slovakia.
Clark (-63kg), 2006 European Champion and three-time Olympian, cruised to victory as she won four out of four contests, including an “all-Brit” clash against this competition’s bronze medallist Jemima Yeats-Brown in the semi-final. Clark will be looking to build on this success as she makes her bid for a place at the Commonwealth Games.
“I was pleased to get back into competition and to get a few contests under my belt. Although you never forget how to compete, nothing quite replicates actual competition, so to be back in the mix, for me is positive,” said Clark, who has recently returned to competing after time out due to injury.
She continued: “I am looking forward to my next few competitions. I am training well and smart. I am involved in some other projects and I am also taking an active role coaching in the Edinburgh Judo Club. For me, if I can give back to children and adults and pass on any of my experience as a role model, then I am doing something positive for others.”
Austin’s path to a gold medal involved only three fights, all of which he won. There were only eight judoka entered in the -100kg category, including fellow Olympian Euan Burton.
Austin rippled through his contests gaining ippons in each one, again proving his worth ahead of Glasgow 2014.
Meanwhile, Kelly Edwards (-52kg) and Jodie Myers (+78kg) both seized silver, with Edwards beating two Austrians before losing out to Ertl of Germany in the semi-final and Myers claiming ippon over Polish fighter Marta Rozga before succumbing to Sarah Mairhofer of Austria to settle for silver.
Frazer Chamberlain (-90kg) and Connie Ramsay (-57kg) both bounced their way to bronze medals.
Although Chamberlain lost out early on he came back strong in the repechage to beat Czech Marek Lojkasek, while Ramsay having won three ippons in the first three rounds, went on to the battle for bronze triumphing against Manja Kropf of Slovenia by waza-ari.
Olympian Euan Burton came fifth, fighting above his former -81kg weight at -100kg, whilst Mark Shaw joined Burton in fifth position in the +100kg competition for men. Jade Lewis (-52kg) and Jodie Mullen (-63kg) also finished fifth overall.
Meanwhile, Stephanie Inglis (-57kg) secured a solid seventh place.
All the athletes self-funded for this competition.
By Donna Richardson. Photos EJU.