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England ladies set judo medal target

30 July 2002

A young team aims to walk away from Manchester with medals

G-MEX Centre

Judo is being held at Manchester's G-MEX Centre

When judo made its one and only previous competitive appearance in the Commonwealth Games, at Auckland in 1990, it ended up as something of a cakewalk for the England team.

Featuring the likes of Karen Briggs, Sharon Lee, Jane Morris, Sharon Mills, Diane Bell and Sharon Rendle, the English women pulled off an almost clean sweep of the gold medals. Only Scotland’s Loretta Cusack interrupted the flow.

None of those English winners are competing at Manchester 2002, but a whole new group of judokas will be hoping to create a similar success story.

The likes of Georgie Singleton, Samantha Lowe and Clare Lynch are all aiming for gold and glory.

But they are unlikely to have it all their own way, as England’s head coach Rowena Birch explained.

“There is a very high quality of players in the competition,” she said. “But I think most of our squad are looking to win medals and if they want to do that they need to be able to beat whoever is put in front of them.

“It will certainly be a lot tougher than 12 years ago. The Scots are particularly strong and Canada are also looking good, while there are several other individuals in with a chance.

“We are not going to underestimate anybody, but we have the potential to get some excellent results if we have a good day.”

Info News Service/tb/jdc

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