Team Bath judoka Ben Fletcher earns more Rio 2016 qualification points in Turkey

04 April 2016

Team Bath judoka Ben Fletcher recorded a second-successive seventh-placed finish when he competed at the Samsun Grand Prix in Turkey.

The result gave the 24-year-old another 48 valuable points in his pursuit of Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualification, with just a handful of competitions remaining before the May 31 deadline.

Fletcher, coached by Juergen Klinger at the University of Bath, saw his superior fitness come to the fore in his opening -100kg contest in Samsun as he recovered from two shidos down to beat Grigori Minaskin of Estonia.

A single yuko proved to be enough to see off Italy’s Vincenzo D’Arco and set up a quarter-final against talented Georgian Beka Gviniashvili. He had already accounted for the World number one, Elmar Gasimov of Azerbaijan, and continued that fine form against Fletcher to secure the win.

That sent Fletcher into the repechage where, despite his best efforts, a defeat to Miklos Cirjenics of Hungary left him seventh overall – a repeat of his result in Tbilisi the previous weekend.

Joining Fletcher in Samsun were fellow Team Bath judoka Tom Reed and Jan Gosiewski, who came up against tough opposition.

Mongolian Dagvasuren Nyamsuren, number 30 in the world, defeated Reed by ippon in their opening -81kg contest.

Gosiewski, studying for a PhD in Orthopaedic Biomechanics and supported by the Team Bath Dual Career programme, led by two penalty scores to one going into the last minute of his -73kg opener against Serhiy Drebot, only for the Ukranian to respond with an impressive throw.

Gemma Howell, winner of a silver medal in Tbilisi the previous week, had to pull out of the Samsun Grand Prix with a knee injury.

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