Silver linings for judo brother and sister

21 October 2013

There was a double silver lining for Team Bath judo brother and sister Ben and Megan Fletcher as both produced impressive performances to finish runners-up at major international judo competitions at the weekend.

The University of Bath-based pair were both in European Open action, with Megan competing in Rome and Ben in Glasgow.

Megan contested the under-70kg class at the Rome European Open on Saturday (19 October).  She fought her way to the final with victories over Anne-Kathrin Lisewski (GER), Jennifer Pitzanti (ITA) and Belgium’s Roxane Taeymans.

That set up a final against Maya Thoyer, which the French player won in a contest that went the full five minutes, with Megan taking silver.

“I feel mixed emotions,” said Megan, “I am disappointed that I lost the final after I made a silly mistake which cost me a yuko that I never recovered from.  I felt really good though to come away with a silver which is the next best thing to gold.”

Also in Rome, London 2012 Olympian and University of Bath Sport and Exercise Science student Gemma Howell continued her comeback from a knee injury with bronze in the under-63kg class.

She went down to Tina Trstenjak in the semis – the Slovenian went on to win gold, with Gemma beating France’s Maelle De Cintio in the bronze medal fight. Gemma receives a Trendell Scholarship at the University.

On Sunday it was the turn of Megan’s younger brother Ben to take to the mat in the under-100kg class at the Glasgow European Open.

He beat a pair of Italians, Luca Ardizio and Domenico Di Guida to book a place in the final against Euan Burton who represented Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics. Ben, who won bronze at the 2011 World Junior Championships, couldn’t overcome the more experienced Burton, who took gold with a contest-winning Ippon score in the final.

University of Bath student and sports scholar Jan Gosiewski just missed out on the medals in Glasgow, coming fifth in the under-73kg class. After winning his two preliminary round contests he lost his semi to Italy’s Marco Maddaloni – who went on to win gold – and then went down to Russia’s Egor Rybin in the bronze medal contest. Gosiewski is studying for a Biomechanics PhD at the University and receives a Trendell Scholarship.

Tom Reed, a University of Bath Business Administration graduate, came seventh in the under-81kg class, losing his opening contest to Hungary’s Attila Istvan Ungvari, who went on to take gold.

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