Skelley narrowly misses out on World Games medal

On the final day of the individual competition at the IBSA World Games in Birmingham, Chris Skelley narrowly missed out on a medal, whilst there were 7th place finishes for Evan Molloy and Kirsten Taylor.

Paralympic Champion and recent IBSA European Championship silver medallist Chris Skelley (Haltemprice JC) had an opening-round bye before facing Yordani Fernandez-Sastre (CUB) in the Quarter-Final.

After conceding an early waza-ari, Skelly evened the score with a throw for waza-ari and transitioned into newaza to pin his opponent for a second wazari score.

It was the battle of the two Paralympic champions for a place in the final as Skelley faced Vahid Nouri (IRI) (Tokyo -90kg champion).

Skelley dominated the contest but was countered and thrown for a waza-ari score. Skelley continued to battle, but was unable to find a score.

The result progressed Skelley to the bronze medal contest where he faced Aloviddin Jurakulov (UZB). Skelley dominated for the majority of the contest and as he attempted an attack in the final minute of the contest, he was countered for ippon score.

In the J2 -90kg category, IBSA European Championship bronze medallist Evan Molloy (Mark Burbridge; Devizes JC) defeated Tokyo Paralympic Games silver medallist Benjamin Goodrich (USA) in Round Two, following an opening round bye to progress to the Quarter-Finals.

Molloy faced Marcelo Casanova (BRA) and dominated the contest from the first exchange. After having a score waived off in the final 40-seconds, Molloy conceded a waza-ari score in the following exchange and unfortunately ran out of time to even the score. The result saw Molloy progress to the Repechage where he first overcame Galymzhan Smagululy (KAZ), courtesy of 20-second hold-down for ippon score before defeat to Lasha Kizilashvili (GEO) saw the young Briton finish in 7thplace.

Reflecting on equalling his best performance at a World Championships, Molloy said:

“I am proud of my performance today, I had four tough fights and we can see that some technical areas that I have been working on are starting to show.

“The performance was there to be in the medals, it’s now a case of going back, keep working hard and the results will come.”

Speaking about the support from the home crowd, Molloy added:

“I was extremely nervous to be competing in front of my family, my parents are my biggest supporters. I just wanted to make them proud and I think I did that today with my performance.”

IBSA European Championship bronze medallist Kirsten Taylor (David Scobie; Tayside JC) had an opening round bye in the J2 +70kg category before facing Paralympic Champion Dursadaf Karimova (AZE) in the Quarter-Finals. Taylor exploded out of the blocks and registered a throw for waza-ari score in the opening exchange.

Taylor, searching for a second score, was countered and pinned for ippon score but progressed to the Repechage where she faced Mariana Mederos (URU). The Scot threw her opponent for waza-ari score before pinning her for a further waza-ari. Taylor then faced Hongyu Wang (CHN) for a place in the bronze medal contest, but was unfortunately thrown for ippon score in the opening 30-seconds. The result saw Taylor finish in 7th position.

Competing alongside Skelley in the J2 +90kg category was Jack Hodgson (Terry Alltoft; Grimsby Judo Club) who was making just his second competitive appearance following a 12-month layoff with injury.

In the opening round, Hodgson was drawn against Tokyo Paralympic silver medallist and recent European Champion Revaz Chikoidze (GEO).

Hodgson went on the offensive and was caught by two wazari scores.

There was a reprieve for Hodgson by way of the Repechage as he faced Aloviddin Jurakulov (UZB). Hodgson started aggressively, but was caught and thrown for ippon score.

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