McKenzie bows out early

28 July 2012 / 11:38

Britain's Ashley McKenzie suffered an early exit from the men's judo under-60kg extra-lightweight competition when he was beaten by Japan's Hiroaki Hiraoka, the number two seed, at ExCeL.

The 23-year-old started brightly, but the experience of the world silver medallist soon told.

McKenzie fell further behind with passivity penalties mid-way through the five-minute contest, which left an uphill battle to continue his Olympic dream, which was ended with 50 seconds left by an ippon score.

McKenzie fought back tears as he reflected on the end of his first Olympic journey.

"I was up against the number two ranked fighter and if I had been able to get into the competition a bit more, then I might have beaten him," the British fighter said. "He is a tough opponent and hopefully he can finish off the day and show you how good he is.

"It has been a hard journey for me, but I will keep going towards 2016, and hopefully I will be filmed again and you can see my journey there.

"I tried my hardest, and I could not do any more. I am going to use this to go towards 2016.

"It is great to be an Olympian and represent Great Britain, but I want to better myself. Now I will start from step one again, prove I can get back into the squad and go to 2016."