THE British team, which is desperate to regain self-esteem after failing to get any medals at the Olympic Games in Atlanta last year, moved some way towards that ambition yesterday. On the first day of the annual European championships in Ostend, three of the four women competitors reached the semi-finals, while another, Kate Howey, the 1992 Olympic middleweight bronze medal-winner, qualified for the repechage. One man, the bantamweight, Jamie Johnson, also got into the repechage and so has a chance of finishing third.
Colin McIver, the British team manager, said: "The girls were just excellent. They were really up for it. It was most pleasing. The men were less fortunate, but some still did quite well."
Joyce Heron, the tiny Scottish bantamweight, who won a bronze medal at the 1993 world championships, defeated Laura Moise, of Romania, with a decisive knockdown, reversing their result in the 1996 European championships.
Chloe Cowan, at light-heavyweight, was responsible for one of the biggest upsets by also scoring a knockdown on Estha Essombe, a highly experienced French competitor.
At heavyweight, Michelle Rogers beat another French opponent, Celine Lebrun, and will now meet Beata Maksymow, of Poland, who weighs in at 120kg, for a place in the final.
Howey, 23, who has dropped back down from light-heavyweight to middleweight since the Olympics, lost her crucial bout to Yvonne Wansart, of Germany, but still has a good chance of finishing with a medal.
Howey was unable to upset Wansart with her famous morote-gari, which looks like a frontal rugby tackle, in which she scoops up her opponent's legs.
Source Citation:Goodbody, John. "Encouraging start for British fightback; Judo." The Times (London, England) (May 9, 1997): 40. Academic OneFile. Gale. BROWARD COUNTY LIBRARY. 1 Oct. 2009
United States Judo Association - USJA
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