Encouraging return from injury for Team Bath Judo Club’s Gemma Howell at Samsun Grand Prix

02 April 2015

Team Bath Judo Club’s Gemma Howell made an encouraging return from injury by finishing fifth at the Samsun Grand Prix in Turkey.

London 2012 Olympian Howell, who is coached by Juergen Klinger and former University of Bath student Kate Howey, won her pool in the under-63kg competition.

Victories over Slovakia’s Ivana Komlosiova, Mia Hermansson of Sweden and Mongolia’s Munkhzaya Tsedevsuren set up a semi-final with Anicka Van Emden of the Netherlands.

However, Howell – a Sport and Exercise Science student at the University of Bath – lost out and was also defeated by another Dutchwoman, Juul Franssen, in the bronze-medal fight.

Howell had mixed emotions after the competition, saying: “Disappointed but it’s my first competition back from injury so happy to be back fighting and still in one piece.”

She had been out of action since October after undergoing an operation on her knee, an injury which has restricted her to just a handful of competitive appearances since the Olympic Games.

There was frustration for Team Bath siblings Megan and Ben Fletcher, who both suffered first-round exits in Turkey.

Megan was beaten by Switzerland’s Juliane Robra in the under-70kg competition and Ben lost to Javad Mahjoub of Iran in the under-100kg weight division.

University of Bath Sports Performance graduate Gemma Gibbons, a silver-medalist at London 2012, failed to progress past the preliminary round in the under-78kg category after losing her second fight to Germany’s Luise Malzahn.

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