Paralympic Silver Medallist Ingram Crowned 2013 Visually Impaired European Champion

London 2012 Paralympic silver medallist Sam Ingram today retained his Visually Impaired European Championship title in Eger, Hungary.

Edinburgh-based Ingram, 28, was defending the title he first won back in 2011, when the championships were held on home soil in Crawley.

The 2013 event boasted a particularly strong entry with a number of Paralympic medallists and prospects for Rio 2016 taking to the tatami.

Ingram, fighting in the -90kg category, started well beating Ukrainian opponent Nazerenko in a tight contest by shidos. He followed that up with victory over Shevchenko of Russia by ippon.
That victory guaranteed Ingram a medal with another Ukrainian, Tropinov, standing between him and the gold. Ingram started the contest brightly, almost registering a score with a throw, before transitioning on the ground to choke his opponent for ippon in just 20 seconds.

Commenting on the victory Ingram said: “I’m delighted to have successfully retained my title and I’m looking forward to the rest of this Paralympic cycle.

“I’m now looking ahead to the British Championships next week, where I hope to put in another good performance before enjoying Christmas.”

Paralympic Coach Jean-Paul Bell added: “Highlight of the day was Sam Ingram who was professional and dominating in the pursuit of his second European title. His ruthless application of transition into shime waza put paid to his last to opponent in quick time with the final lasting just 20 seconds.

“A well-deserved gold medal and hopefully the motivation the juniors need to win tomorrow.”

Great Britain’s team narrowly missed out on more medals, with Christopher Skelly and Jonathan Drane both placing fifth in their first European Championships. Drane fought his way to the bronze medal contest through the repechage after a first round defeat and lost out controversially by a shido in golden score against Paralympic Champion Dmytro Solovey for bronze. Skelly also performed well, claiming the scalp of Germany’s fifth place Paralympian Oliver Uppman en-route to the semi-final which he lost to a Russian opponent. He almost had victory in the bronze medal contest, throwing his opponent for ippon which was downgraded to waza-ari, before his opponent threw him for ippon.

Gavin Towers took a seventh place finish, winning three contests and losing two, whilst Paralympian Marc Powell suffered a first round exit.

Commenting on the competition as a whole, Bell added: ““Overall it has been a successful and positive week for VI Judo. The team spirit has been both good and professional and with the EJU involved the organisation, the event has been great and the Judo has again increased in level from London.

“The GB performances were very good and on another day we could have, and probably will, come home with a handful of medals.

“For a vast majority of the team this was their first major VI event and all equipped themselves extremely well, with strong performances fighting for medals and gaining wins over established Paralympians.”

Two British athletes will compete in tomorrow’s World Junior Games with Christopher Skelly and Natalie Greenhough going for gold.