Great Britain VI squad in the medals finishing second in the table

Great Britain scooped four medals at the 2014 Visually Impaired (VI) Brazil international tournament, equivalent to a Grand Prix, last weekend.

Paralympic silver medallist Sam Ingram and Jonothan Drane both took gold while VI Junior World medallist seized silver and Gavin Towers bounced to bronze.

London 2012 Paralympic silver medallist Sam Ingram (-90kg) gained gold after winning four out of four matches including the semi-final against a USA opponent.

“I was pleased with my performance and to be part of the team. We are all pleased with the medals and everyone has enjoyed the short camp.” Jono Drane scooped GB’s second gold medal triumphing over Mongolian and Brazilian fighters in the 73kg category.

“With the VI worlds having been announced to take place in Colorado later this year, it is important to start building momentum and stay focused,” he said. “A result like this is a great start to the campaign.”

VI Junior Champion Chris Skelley (-100kg) scooped silver by defeating two Brazilians for a place in the final against two time European VI Champion Vladimir Fedin of Russia.

Skelley threw for yuko but was robbed of gold when less than 30 seconds on the clock he was caught for ippon.

He said: “It has been a incredible trip with my amazing VI team mates.

Thank you to Ian Johns and John Prescott for making the trip so great.”

Gavin Towers battled hard for bronze and he bounced back from a defeat by Cyril Jonard of France by beating USA and Brazilian opponents for a well deserved podium finish.

Ian Johns, the VI coach for the trip said:

“I am so very proud of them all, we took second on the medal table and we had four entries.

“A big thank you to John Prescott (Preccie) who has looked after us all, stitching us back up and fixing up opponents during the tough training camp.

“A highlight of the trip was a session with British Jiu Jitsu three times Brazilian Champion Professor Marcos Antônio Barbosa, a judo black belt and was a member of brazilian judo team (-65 kg) in the 1991 Havana Pan American Games.”

Words by Donna Richardson.