Baku bronze for Ben Fletcher as MJ Church Ambassador secures second judo Grand Slam medal

15 May 2019

Team Bath Judo’s Ben Fletcher claimed the second Grand Slam medal of his career when he won a brilliant bronze in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The MJ Church Ambassador, coached by Juergen Klinger at the University of Bath Sports Training Village, continued his fine 2019 form by defeating fellow Rio 2016 Olympian Jorge Fonseca of Portugal in his men’s -100kg bronze-medal match.

After starting the day with victories over Daniel Mukete of Belarus and Georgia’s Giorgi Beriashvili, Fletcher was edged out in the quarter-finals by Otgonbaatar Lkhagvasuren of Mongolia but bounced back by beating Lithuania’s Karolis Bauza in the repechage before securing his podium place.

It was a third medal of the year for Fletcher, who has now moved up to ninth in the world ranking list.

Sister and fellow Team Bath judoka Megan Fletcher was also in action in Baku and reached the quarter-finals of the women’s -70kg division with victories over Zere Bektaskyzy of Kazakhstan and France’s Margaux Pinot.

Eventual silver-medallist Anna Bernholm of Sweden had the edge in the last eight and defeat in the repechage to Germany’s Miriam Butkereit meant Fletcher had to settle for seventh place overall.

Sport & Exercise Science graduate Gemma Howell, who used to train with Team Bath Judo, fought superbly on her return from injury to win bronze in the same weight category – her first-ever Grand Slam medal.

Click here for more information about the judo programme at the University of Bath.

Picture: IJF – view more images from Baku by clicking here.

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