There were two silvers and a bronze medal for Team Bath’s elite judoka to celebrate when the European Open took place in Scotland and Portugal at the weekend.
There was a pleasing return to the podium for Megan Fletcher as she took silver at the women’s European Open in Lisbon after some impressive performances in the under-70kg division.
After coming through Pool D with victories over Maria Perez of Puerto Rico and Ecuador’s Vanessa Chala, Fletcher beat Slovenia’s Anka Pogacnik in the semi-finals.
The gold-medal bout against Germany’s Laura Vargas Koch proved equally hard fought but Fletcher narrowly had to settle for silver.
Meanwhile in Scotland Tom Reed reached the under-81kg final at the men’s event in Glasgow, while Ben Fletcher strengthened his grip on a Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualification place with bronze in the under-100kg division.
The under-81kg final in Glasgow was a repeat of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 British Open, with University of Bath Business Management graduate Reed facing off against compatriot Owen Livesey.
And it was Livesey who once again had the edge over Reed, who had beaten Iceland’s Sveinjorn Iura, New Zealand’s Ivica Pavlinic and Frank De Wit of the Netherlands en route to the final.
Livesey said: “It’s the fifth time I’ve faced Tom in a final and it’s getting closer every time. Today I managed to catch him but Tom’s a good fighter and I’m sure I’ll meet him in a final again.”
Ben Fletcher moved up to 22nd on the Olympic qualification list as he added 40 valuable points to his tally with a bronze medal in the under-100kg competition.
After beating Austria’s Maximilian Hageneder by ippon in his opening contest, Fletcher was beaten in similar style by Italy’s Vincenzo D’Arco and went into the repechage.
Victory over Israel’s Peter Paltchik put Fletcher through to a bronze-medal contest against Hungary’s Miklos Cirjenics, which proved to be incredibly close fought.
The contest went to golden score, where Fletcher needed just 12 seconds to score an ippon and secure the bronze medal.
In the under-90kg category, Gary Hall also fought for third place but narrowly lost out to a familiar face in Coach Education and Sports Development graduate Andrew Burns.
There was disappointment in the under-73kg division for Emmanuel Nartey and Jan Gosiewski, a Mechanical Engineering PhD student who is supported by a Trendell Sports Scholarship, as they suffered first-round defeats to France’s Benjamin Axus and Guillaume Chaine respectively.
Team Bath’s judoka are coached by Juergen Klinger in the dojo at the Sports Training Village.
Pictured above Ben and Megan Fletcher
Report courtesy of the the Team Bath press office at Matchtight Ltd