Judo: Bryant underlines potential

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The Independent Online
THE Commonwealth Judo Championships - held every two years - used to be a whitewash for the home countries, but no longer. On Saturday, in the 16-nation tournament in Edinburgh, countries as unlikely as Mauritius and Fiji produced gold medallists as well as India, indicating the continuing growth of the sport world wide.

The most dominant figure in the women's event was from England, the 19- year-old Karina Bryant who weighs 90 kilos, stands over 6ft but possesses technical skill, too. She swept through both the heavyweight category and the open weight with ease, smashing everyone with hip throws for ippon, judo's perfect score, underlining her status as world junior champion. If she is not exposed too much too early at senior level, she looks a real prospect for the future.

In the men's division, it was the Fijian Nacanlezi Qerewaga who impressed, winning the heavyweight and open categories. While victory by Scotland's 23-year-old light middleweight Graeme Randall showed that he has recovered from a shoulder injury just in time for the British Open in Birmingham on 10 April. With a silver from the German Open six weeks ago, he is now Britain's main hope in the European Championships in May.

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