Finally, finally, after weeks of waiting we had some good news on the Olympic selection front!
Yesterday the British Olympic Association (BOA) announced the British Judo team for London 2012, and we were delighted to see both Gemma Gibbons and Sophie Cox on the team list. Gemma and Sophie have known for almost a month now that they had been nominated by British Judo for selection, but until the team was officially ratified and announced by the BOA nothing was official. I’m sure both were very relieved when they finally received confirmation.
For Gemma, London will provide her first taste of Olympic action. After a stressful year chasing the British number 1 spot, Gemma was given a last-minute opportunity to qualify in the weight division above her normal fighting weight. A win at the British Grand Prix in the 78kg category was enough for her to secure selection.
Sophie, an Athens Olympian, made a return to the sport last year, and has been the clear British Number 1 at 52kg since doing so. She is the reigning British Champion, won a bronze at the 2010 European Championships, and picked up a bronze medal at the Olympic test event in the Excel Centre late last year. She also won world cup bronze in Amsterdam, and received a Sporting Excellence award at the recent UEL Sports Awards Dinner, in recognition of her international honours and achievements.
The dates to put in your diary are 29th July for Sophie in the 57kg and 2nd August for Gemma in the 78kg.
I for one can’t wait to see them in action, and have even managed to get myself at ticket for Sophie’s qualification rounds. On behalf of UELSports I wish them both the very best of luck at the Games.
Check back next week for a feature on UEL’s Paralympic representative, Ali Jawad.