Veteran Gordon delivers GB boost
August 1, 2012 13:00 pm
British judo pair Winston Gordon and Sally Conway put on spirited displays but could not prevent their respective second-round exits at ExCel.
Gordon dispatched world number 14 Alexandre Emond of Canada in the first round of the under-90kgs category, while Edinburgh's Sally Conway closed out victory with a holdown at the under-70kgs, in her first-round clash with Carine Ngarlemdana of Chad.
Team GB were looking to end a 12-year wait for a judo Olympic medal, since Kate Howey won silver in Sydney. However, Gordon went down to Russian Kirill Denisov by the narrowest of margins, a 1-0 score leaving his hopes scuppered.
Gordon felt he could be proud of his efforts against the Russian, who was third at the 2012 Paris Grand Slam.
He said: "It was a tight match against a left-hander, which was very awkward. He caught me with a little counter and then locked up the shop, but he is an experienced fighter and is no mug. I put everything I could into the fight, but he kept it tight."
Gordon also praised the "fantastic" atmosphere in front of a home crowd, saying: "It took me back to the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. The crowd were phenomenal, they came in numbers to support me, family and friends, guys came over from Spain to support me and give me a good roaring on."
Conway's chance to progress closer to a medal fight saw her pick up a shido penalty against Dutch Edith Bosch for backing off. A wazari score from Bosch followed, to leave Conway facing elimination unless she could produce a wonder throw in the final 25 seconds.
The big score never came, and again despite a morning of initial promise, Britain's judo hopes were again extinguished before the afternoon medal session. Conway felt a lapse in concentration cost her a shot at the medal stage.
"I always knew it was going to be a tough fight, she is the former world champion and Olympic silver medallist, but I have got closer to her past matches, so I felt I could do it today. I came here to win and was not able to," said Conway, fighting back tears.
"One little tiny mistake cost me, and to come back from a wazari against a top fighter like that is hard. I tried my best, but it just did not happen this time. I am definitely going to be wanting that gold in Rio now, so I will keep working hard."
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