Stephanie Inglis gains European Cup silver and Sam Clark bronze

Last weekend’s Senior European Cup in Tampere, Finland between 21 to 22 September, had a silver lining for Stephanie Inglis (-57kg) who took second place on the podium.

Her journey started with an ippon victory over Kathrin Frey of Switzerland and she went on to win by a shido against Anastasia Polikarpova of Russia. Inglis finally took the silver medal after being defeated by Shirley Elliot of France, who was already a yuko and waza-ari up, before scoring another waza-ari to make ippon.

She said: “I scored ippon on the Swiss girl and I played a tactical fight against the Russian who beat me at a final in May so I am very happy with that.

“I am a bit disappointed at not winning the final however I’m happy to become more consistent at medalling at European Cups.” Inglis, already ranked number five in Europe, says that her next goal is on improving her World Ranking score.

Samantha Clark (-52kg) took bronze after winning by waza-ari against Elodie Grou of France in the repechage.

Her journey up to this point included winning her first match against Svenja Appenzeller of Switzerland by two shidos and then suffered a narrow defeat losing in the last seven seconds to Polina Molchanova of Russia by a single yuko.

After such a lengthy period away from competitive judo I was very pleased to get back to competing and even happier to be on the rostrum,” she said.

I was extremely nervous and a mistake in the semi final against the Russian cost me a shot at the gold medal.”

She added. “This is just the start for me and I am hoping to carry on making improvements.”

Meanwhile, Paralympian Sam Ingram made a solid step towards his goal to compete in the Commonwealth Games next year as he took fifth place.

The EJU event is good practice for Ingram as he looks to make the transition amongst fully sighted players.

The -90kg visually impaired judoka beat Stefan Samba of the Netherlands in the first round, then lost the second against home judoka Jaako Alli by ippon. He bounced back to win by two shidos against Lithuanian Ovidijus Varnas’ who had three.

In the fight for bronze, he suffered a narrow defeat by shido against Jakub Zarzeczny of Poland.

Before this point both judoka were equally matched with waza-aris.

“I’m disappointed, but there is not much I can do about it now. I’ll push on and look for a result somewhere else, perhaps in Malaga,” he said.

“I’m getting better. I just have to be patient that an able-bodied result will happen.”

Sarah Clark (-63kg) also joined him in fifth place having beaten Julia Ruiz of France with an early ippon but then lost against the eventual gold medallist Antoinette Hennik of the Netherlands by ippon and then to Pari Surakatova of Russia by a waza-ari and yuko.

James Martin (-60kg) made seventh position, having won his first match against Eetu Laaksonen of Finland by ippon but conceding the next two matches.

GB’s James Millar and Christopher Waddell finished ninth overall in their respective weight categories.


Words by Donna Richardson. Photos courtesy of EJU BY Aliisa Piirla