Peter Miles led the way for Great Britain with a superb bronze medal on the first day of the 2013 IJF Cadet World Championships in Miami.
Miles (-55kg) overcame a tough draw to fight one of the biggest competitions of his career so far and was rewarded when he beat home judoka Adonis Diaz holding down the American for ippon to open Britain’s medal account in Florida.
Fresh from winning silver in the European Youth Olympics and a bronze at the European Championships in Tallinn, the 17-year-old judoka from Bristol was hoping to strike gold this time.
And after winning all of his first three bouts, the dream looked like it could become reality.
However, his hopes of overall victory ended in the semi-finals, but he bounced back in style to win the bronze-medal match.
After getting a bye in the first round, he opened his competition by beating Taiki Miyagawa of Japan in golden score in round two after his opponent received hansoku-make in a contest which Miles controlled.
Miles then dominated his third-round contest with Georgia’s Beka Natatralashvili, throwing him to score waza-ari, yuko and finally ippon.
That set up a quarter-final with Salim Rebahi of Algeria and another gripping contest ensued before the Briton edged the verdict by virtue of having one shido to Rebahi’s two.
At this stage, Miles luck briefly ran out in the semi-final against Elios Manzi of Italy as two shidos ended the Bristol man’s hopes of fighting for gold.
However, the setback was only temporary and Miles came through the repechage to face – and beat – Diaz to take a deserved place on the podium.
Judo Scotland coach Gary Edwards who is leading the British team out in Miami, said: “Pete had a hard fight for the bronze against Diaz but he loved fighting against the player and against the backdrop of the partisan crowd.
“He was up for this fight and was very happy to add a world medal to his European and youth Olympic medals.
“I feel happy to get the first medal on day one and it has given the team belief they can win.
“Coaching Peter was a pleasure and he was looking forward to a well-deserved burger and chips to celebrate.”
Image courtesy of Zahoni/Sabau IJF.og