Judo: Randall returns to regain British title

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The Independent Online

The former world middleweight champion, Graeme Randall, reclaimed his British crown in Gateshead yesterday after returning to domestic competition for the first time in three years.

Randall overcame several robust challenges from the pretenders to his throne but still beat every opponent by the maximum score, ippon, the equivalent to a knock-out in boxing.

Randall's position as Britain's No 1 middleweight (under 81kg) came under threat earlier this year as he was dropped from the European Championship team, in favour of Luke Preston. But he had the chance to redress the balance when he faced Preston in the second-round pools.

The 1999 world champion was always in control, though, and racked up two lower scores before securing victory with a powerful hip-throw. The Scot also had to beat the former European junior champion Thomas Cousins and Britain's No 1 junior, Peter Lomax.

Britain's current world championship medallist, John Buchanan, was also in dominant form as he crushed all his opponents on the way to winning gold in the bantamweight division (under 60kg). Buchanan, from Scotland, was only stretched in one contest, against London's Sam Dunkley, but a swift sacrificial throw which produced a low score, proved decisive.

The favourites did not fare so well in the women's weight categories. The 1999 World Championship bronze medallist, Karen Roberts, lost twice to finish only third in the middleweight division (under 63kg). The category was won by Sarah Clarke, who beat Gemma Hutchins with a stunning inner leg throw to take her first British title.

BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIPS (Gateshead): MEN: Bantamweight (Under 60kg): Gold: J Buchanan (SJF). Silver: S Dunkley (Lon). Bronze: C Fallon (Mid) and J Millar (SJF). Featherweight (Under 66kg): Gold: D King (East). Silver: J Warren (Mid). Bronze: A Machin (SJF) and G Carder (NHC). Lightweight (Under 73kg): Gold: D Hawkins (South). Silver: E Bonti (Lon). Bronze: M Purssey (NHC) and C Ewers (WJF). Light-middleweight (Under 81kg): Gold: G Randall (SJF). Silver: P Lomax (N West). Bronze: L Preston (WJA) and E Burton (SJF). Middleweight (Under 90kg: Gold: P Cousins (NHC). Silver: W Gordon (Lon). Bronze: W Lakin (Mid) and S Withers (WJF). Light-heavyweight (Under 100kg): Gold: S Delahay (West). Silver: S Burlington (North). Bronze: K Davies (Lon) and B Rich (South). Heavyweight (Over 100kg): Gold: D Sargent (South). Silver: G Edwards (SJF). Bronze: R Stilwell (South) and D Clarke (NHC). WOMEN: Bantamweight (Under 48kg): Gold: F Robertson (SJF). Silver: D Robertson (SJF). Bronze: S Johnstone (South) and Julie Baker (N West). Featherweight (Under 52kg): Gold G Singleton (NHC). Silver: S Smithson (RAF). Bronze: K Cussack (SJF) and J Carter (Y&H). Lightweight (Under 57kg): Gold: S Cox (N West). Silver: C Peel (North). Bronze: J Brien (SJF) and M Evans (WJA). Light-middleweight (Under 63kg): Gold: S Clarke (North). Silver: G Hutchins (North). Bronze: K Roberts (NHC) and K Roberts (NHC). Middleweight (Under 70kg): Gold: M Costello (SJF). Silver: R Wilding (South). Bronze: S Lowe (South) and S Fairbrother (NHC). Light-heavyweight (Under 78kg): Gold: J Melen (WJA). Silver: L Sorrell (SJF). Bronze: R Singleton (NHC) and V Tate (N West). Heavyweight (Over 78kg): Gold: S Callender (South). Silver: S Hart (Army). Bronze: C McAlpine (SJF) and S Blair (WJA).

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