Bryant claims bronze for seventh career European medal in Chelyabinsk
KARINA Bryant ensured there was finally reason for Britain to cheer at the European Judo Championships as she powered her way to a second career continental bronze medal.
Sarah Clark's fifth on the opening day in Chelyabinsk and Sally Conway's seventh 24 hours later were the closest Britain had come to the podium before Bryant took to the mat.
However it proved to be third time lucky as Bryant navigated her way through a tricky field in the +78kg category to win bronze and her seventh career medal at the Europeans.
After a bye in round one, Bryant, a four-time European champion, edged out Ketty Mathe of France first up and then Dutch judoka Carola Uilenhoed to reach the semi-finals.
Bryant stumbled against three-time European champion Elena Ivashchenko, ending her gold medal chances, but she didn't let bronze pass her by against Larisa Ceric in the repechage.
And she said: "I am pleased with my performance, it gave me a great opportunity to see how my preparation has been going and where I am at this stage of my plan up to London."
That was as good as it got for Britain on the final day of individual competition in Russia although Winston Gordon was valiant in reaching the -90kg pool semi-final.
He lost to eventual gold medalist Varlam Liparteliani while in the same category Matthew Purssey lasted just one fight - Austrian Max Schirnhofer securing an ippon to end his hopes.
Chris Sherrington and Sarah Adlington both lost their first bouts in the +100kg and +78kg respectively while James Austin was defeated in his second in the -100kg.
© Sportsbeat 2012