Judo: European silver for British women

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The Independent Online

Britain came away with a creditable silver medal from the European Team Championships yesterday.

Britain came away with a creditable silver medal from the European Team Championships yesterday.

The women's team had slugged their way through two tense struggles to book their place in the final. But France, the traditional heavyweights of European judo, proved far too powerful. The men reached the bronze medal stage but were also well beaten by the French.

The seven-strong women's side went down 5-2 – but there was at least personal satisfaction for the newly-crowned European champion, Georgina Singleton. In seven fights, throughout the individuals and team championships, she won all but one.

Britain's passage to the final had been nerve-wracking. Belgium and Slovenia forced deciders in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively, but on both occasions, Camberley's Karina Bryant came up trumps. First up, she made short work of Belgium's Marie Elisabeth Veys with an armlock, and then she dispatched Slovenia's Lucija Polauder with a powerful throw.

In the men's event, Britain lost to Ukraine but beat Hungary and Turkey in the repechage to force a bronze medal fight, also against France. The French men, though, were vastly superior and rolled over the Brits 6-1. Wandsworth Lightning's Winston Gordon provided the solitary consolation victory.

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