Bronze finish by the Scottish strangler: British bow out by winning fourth medal

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The Independent Online
JOYCE HERON became the latest in a long and remarkable line of British women to win medals at the top level when, on the last day of the World Championships in Hamilton, she took a bronze in the bantamweight category.

As Heron, the 28-year-old who trains in clubs in Edinburgh, has only been back in the sport for three and a half years, it was an unpredictable success which shocked her opponents. Heron is a specialist in strangles and in the second round, she applied okuri-eri-jime (sliding collar strangle) so effectively that her opponent was unable to submit and went unconscious for 15 seconds.

After losing to Aihyue Li, her Chinese semi-final opponent, to a hold, Heron bounced back in her bronze medal fight against Maria Villapol, the Venezuelan. Midway through, Heron was behind, but she coolly applied the pressure. With less than a minute to go, she pounced on Villapol's back, slid her hands around the neck, slipping the cloth of the judo jacket under the chin, rolled and pulled. Trapped in a hold, with the strangle applied, Villapol submitted giving Heron - the smallest and oldest in her category - the bronze.

This put Britain, with one gold, one silver and two bronzes, in fourth place in the medal table behind Japan, Korea and Germany. The fact that each of the medals came from the women's team reflected the quality of the organisation bequeathed by Roy Inman.

The new team of Neil Adams and Mark Earle have a lot to do with the men's team, which has not won a World Championship medal since 1987. Neither Elvis Gordon, the heavyweight who is certain to retire, nor Nigel Donohue, the bantamweight, were sufficiently consistent this year 'There are now qualifications for the Olympics in Atlanta. We are rebuilding the team, but we do not have a lot of time,' Mark Earle said.

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