OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Gallant Gibbons succumbs to silver
By Sean-Paul Doran, Sportsbeat, London 2012
GEMMA Gibbons is hoping her remarkable London 2012 campaign will ease some of the pressure on Great Britain’s judokas after securing a silver medal in the -78kg category.
OFFICAL NOD: Gemma Gibbons congratulated by David Camerona after winning silver medal
British Judo Association chief Densign White criticised his team for a perceived excuse culture and lack of ambition, days before Gibbons secured an unexpected silver medal after defeat to American Kayla Harrison.
And Gibbons believes her silver, Team GB’s first judo medal since Sydney 2000, is proof that her team has done all they can to chase Olympic success on home soil.
She said: “I hope it does a lot for British judo. There has been no medal for us yet (at London 2012) until today. We've all been training so hard, and I got a medal.
“It's been a long time since we won a medal in judo. As a team we can just get more and more support.”
Gibbons’ had a remarkable day at the ExCel as she won four ties, including a stunning semi-final disposal of current world champion Audrey Tcheumeo of France, en route to the final.
Portugal’s Yahima Ramirez, seventh seed Lkhamdegd Purevjargal and Dutch judoka Marhinde Verkerk were all despatched by the Brit as she booked her final place against the heavily-fancied Tcheumeo.
Gibbons’ success is was a ray of light in an otherwise miserable competition for British judokas – 11 of the 14-strong team have exited already, with two still to compete.
And the 25-year-old Brit was overjoyed to secure a medal as she praised the jubilant home crowd who applauded her off the mat.
“It doesn't really seem real yet, but it's amazing. Of course it's amazing. The crowd was amazing. I wish it could be gold for them but it wasn't to be,” she added.
© Sportsbeat 2012