The teenage sensation Craig Fallon took just one and a half minutes to win England's first judo gold medal of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester last night.
That was how long it took the 19-year-old from Ipswich to throw India's Akram Shah with a stunning shoulder-wheel technique. Peering through a bandage that was covering stitches over his left eye, Fallon said: "It could not have gone better tonight, it is the best day of my year so far. This is a big step towards the Olympic Games in Athens [in 2004].''
Fallon beat three classy opponents on his way to the final, including the world championship bronze medallist John Buchanan of Scotland.
Despite his tender years, Fallon showed a lot of maturity, according to the England team manager, Dennis Stewart. "He was looking really sharp at the pre-games training camp and he did exactly what we expected him to do tonight,'' Stewart said.
In an all-British men's Under-66kg final, the Londoner James Warren doubled the English gold medal tally beating Scotland's David Somerville. England's Clare Lynch, 18, and Scotland's Fiona Robertson, 33, won silver and bronze respectively in the women's under-48kg category.
In winning bronze, Robertson matched her twin sister Donna's achievement from Auckland 12 years ago.
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