Baku 2015: Gibbons looks to life beyond Rio Olympics

24 June 2015 / 10:29

Gemma Gibbons is ready to call time on her judo career but only after upgrading her London 2012 judo silver at next summer's Rio Olympics.

Footage of Gibbons mouthing 'I love you, mum' after reaching the Olympic final three years ago was the feature of every montage at the conclusion of the Games.

Since then she has struggled with a series of wrist, shoulder and ankle injuries and was beaten by Welsh rival Natalie Powell in the -78kg final of last year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

But Gibbons, who is married to two-time Olympic judoka Euan Burton, believes she's back on track ahead of her appearance at the European Games this weekend - though she is also looking further into the future.

“I will be 29 at the next Olympics and I’ll probably be finished after Rio,” she said. 

“I want to have a family, I want to have a career and that's going to be hard at the age of 30. I could do one more Olympiad but my body has given me a hard time over the last couple of years and I’m not sure it would hold up.

“I could become a teacher, and I would also be interested in working with elite athletes. If I could teach judo at school that would be great - and pretty easy!"

However, Gibbons is hopeful of another podium display in Baku, where the judo events are also the official European Championships.

“I have never won a European medal and this competition is a big, big deal, not far off the world championships,” she said. 

“I have been training in Mongolia for this, and I’m going back there afterwards. I’m ready.”

© Sportsbeat 2015