Double Olympian Craig Fallon passes away aged 36

Double Olympian Craig Fallon passes away aged 36

16 July 2019 / 13:13
The British Olympic Association is deeply sad the report the passing of two-time Olympian and former judo world champion Craig Fallon at the age of 36. 

Fallon retired from judo in 2011 after an illustrious career which saw him hold both the World (2005) and European (2006) Championship titles simultaneously. To this day he remains only one of two British Judoka, alongside Neil Adams, to hold the two titles concurrently.

Fallon, who competed for Team GB at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, remains the last British Judoka to win a World Championship title after beating Ludwig Paischer in the -60kg final in Cairo in 2005 at the age of 23. He remains only the third British male to win a judo world title, following Neil Adams in 1981 and Graeme Randall in 1999.

In 2007 Fallon won the Men’s World Cup at the NIA Arena in Birmingham, where he was the only British medallist in the Olympic qualifying event. .

Fallon was also crowned European U23 Champion in 2004 a year after winning silver at both the World Championships in Osaka and the European Championships in Dusseldorf.

Fallon was Commonwealth Games champion at the 2002 Manchester Games and European Junior Championship silver medallist in 2001.

In 2012, following his retirement, the former Wolverhampton Judo Club athlete was inducted into the Wolverhampton Sporting Hall of Fame.

In 2017, Fallon started coaching at Judo Landesverband Vorarlberg in Austria where he was coach to a number of promising Cadet and Junior athletes. In March 2019 Fallon returned to the UK to become Head Coach of the Welsh Judo Association.

British Judo Performance Director Nigel Donohue said: "It is with great shock to hear of the passing of Craig. Firstly, Craig is a son and father, as well as an outstanding Judo fighter of his generation in World Judo. Craig was a fantastic ambassador for British Judo and is our most successful athlete in the modern era of world judo and the most talented judoka that I have ever had the pleasure to watch competing for Great Britain, where he became a European and World Champion. To this date Craig remains the last British Judoka to be crowned World Champion."

On behalf of the British Olympic Association Athletes’ Commission Chair Ben Hawes:

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of two-time judo Olympian Craig Fallon, a number of the British Olympic Association’s Athletes’ Commission competed alongside Craig at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and hold fond memories of our time spent with him.

“Our heartfelt condolences are with Craig’s family, friends and the judo community during this very difficult time.”