Judo: Howey's mental sharpness: Briton on the verge of World Championship success

Click to follow
EVEN before she came to the World Championships here, Britain's light-heavyweight Kate Howey had booked a hospital appointment to sew together some torn angle ligaments. Although she limped slightly as she stepped on to the mat to a tough start against Deni Oliviera, of Brazil, three fights and six minutes later, she was in the semi- final.

Though not physically at her peak, mentally she was as sharp as ever. Famed for her morote-gari, formally translated as 'double hand reap', a rugby tackle by any other name, she tried it in the very first exchange with Oliviera. After more positive moves, Howey trapped Oliviera in a hold on the ground to put the matter beyond doubt.

Mary Tinman, of New Zealand, was quickly dispatched when Howey span her over for ippon (10 points) with uchimata (inner thigh throw). Cuba's Castella Luna was similarly easily dispatched.

Elsewhere, the first day was disappointing for Britain. Elvis Gordon, 35, is past his best, although he did creditably to lose to Kim Kun Soo , of South Korea, only on a three-point knock-down. Sharon Lee, Britain's heavyweight held the American Corinne Rosensteel, but lost to Japan's Noriko Anno.

The tradition of white judo suits at the world and Olympic championships will continue following the decision of the International Judo Federation congress, where a proposal to switch to the European practice of blue and white suits was defeated 92- 52.