sábado, outubro 16, 2010


By Jim van Wijk, Press Association Sport

Rochdale fighter Sophie Cox continued her comeback with a bronze medal at the women's GB Judo World Cup in Birmingham.

Cox was a member of the British Olympic team for Athens in 2004, only to then retire at the age of just 23 before embarking on a career as an English teacher in Thailand.

However, with a view to fighting at London 2012, Cox - undefeated as British Champion for six years - returned to competitive judo earlier this year.

Fighting in the under-52kg division, Cox won her pool with three impressive victories to face Jaana Sunberg of Finland for a place in the final, but lost to an Ipon score.

However, the 28-year-old regrouped to record a Yuko victory with a leg sweep against Germany's Jacqueline Lisson and secure one of the bronze medals.

"It was a very strong competition, but that is what I want," Cox, who has dropped a weight category, said.

"I am on the comeback trail and have only been working back on the mat for around three months, so I am still finding my way and this was great experience.

"The aim for me is London 2012, but there is still a long way to go.

"It is a personal challenge and it feels like I have unfinished business, because I feel I have the potential to do a lot more within Judo.''

Marie Muller of Luxembourg beat Sunberg in the gold-medal bout, while Marine Richard of France collected the other bronze.

Earlier, Scottish fighters Louise Renicks, Stephanie Inglis and Sam Clark, 19, all went out in the first round.

With the GB World Cup forming part of the International Judo Federation's new world ranking system, which contributes towards Olympic qualification, there was a high level of competition throughout the weight divisions.

Harlow's Faith Pitman narrowly missed out on a bronze in the U63kg.

After losing her pool final to Slovakian former Olympic and world medalists Urska Zolnir, the 25-year-old beat China's Meiling Lin in the repechage, but was then forced to tap out against Esther Stam after being put in an armlock by the Dutchwoman.

Kerry Ford, the 19-year-old from Carshalton, lost her first-round fight, as did Scottish youngsters Charlotte Potter and Jode Mullen.

Zolnir, the 2009 European champion, went on to beat Israeli Yarden Gerbi in the final, with Brazil's Camila Minakawa picking up the other bronze medal.

Gemma Howell - who lives in Sidcup and fights out of the Dartford Institute - went into the repechage after defeat in her U57kg pool final by France's Sarah Loko.

However, the 20-year-old then lost a closely-fought contest on a submission against Yang Lui of China.

Hardy Spicer fighter Rebecca Dunning, Nadid Minardi, from the London Budokwai club, and Edinburgh's Connie Ramsay all went out in the first round.

Hungary's Hedvig Karakas beat Loko to take the gold medal, while Julie Baeyens of Belgium and Spanish fighter Isabel Fernandez won their bronze-medal matches.

Scotland's fighter Kimberley Renicks suffered a disappointing first-round defeat in defence of her U48kg title.

Dartford youngsters Kelly Edwards, Francesca Steggal and 16-year-old Freya Dechastelain, the Junior European Championships bronze medalist from Wolverhampton, also went out early.

Belgian Charlie van Snick won gold with a submission armlock victory over Brazilian Tacina Lima, while bronze went to Ireland's Lisa Kearney and Jun Xiao of China.

Sunday will see the heavier weight divisions, with Edinburgh's Sarah Adlington aiming to defend her over-78kg title.

Gemma Gibbons, the 23-year-old British Judo Performance Institute fighter, will also be looking to continue her progress through the U70kg having won gold at the European Cup in Russia during June while Sam Lowe, the 2002 Commonwealth Games champion, fights in the U78kg.

FONTE: Sportinglife.com


FOTO: britishjudo.org.uk

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