National glory for Charlton judo Olympic hero

News Shopper: Gemma Gibbons Gemma Gibbons

CHARLTON’S Olympic judo silver medallist Gemma Gibbons won the British Championship senior gold for the first time on her return to action at EIS Sheffield yesterday.

With anticipation high for the return of British Judo’s first Olympic medallist in 12 years, Gibbons, who has recovered from breaking her hand at the Olympics, produced a professional display to win all five of her contests in emphatic fashion.

The Metro Judo Club star defeated Samurai’s Laura Dangerfield in just eight seconds as she dominated the category.

An eagerly-awaited contest with Abu Dhabi Grand Prix silver medallist Natalie Powell did not materialise as the Welsh judoka, along with her team-mates, did not attend due to the inclement weather.

Gibbons said: “I didn’t feel at my best, it was my first competition back so I wasn’t at my sharpest.

“It’s good to be back and this was my first senior British Championship win, which was very pleasing and was good preparation for returning to the international circuit.”

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