Slow and steady wins the race, says Roux
MIGHTY Oaks from little acorns do grow - that's the message from Great Britain head coach Patrick Roux after the first seeds of London 2012 success were sown at the European Championships last week.
SHINING LIGHT: Sarah Clark can inspire GB to future success, says head coach Patrick Roux (Getty Images)
The Frenchman, charged with producing long overdue results to add to Great Britain's perennial promise, oversaw his first major competition in Tbilisi last week and believes there is reason to take heart from what he saw.
Great Britain's premier judoka are no strangers to success at the European and World Championships but it is on the Olympic stage where they have frozen.
In Beijing last summer Team GB headed east with multiple medal hopes in the shape of former European champions Sarah Clark and Craig Fallon as well as 2007 world bronze medallist Euan Burton.
But for the second successive Games, Britain's best were flat on the mat in double-quick time.
On taking up his post in December, Roux promised to make heads roll in his French Revolution, and after some impressive performances in Georgia - capped off by Clark's silver medal - the Frenchman believes British judo is slowly beginning to blossom.
"I am delighted with Sarah Clark's fantastic performance in Tbilisi," he said. "Throughout the day, Sarah combined a great balance of tactical intelligence and aggression- this performance and Sarah's professionalism should inspire the entire GB team.
"During the competition James Millar, Euan Burton, Andy Burns and Alex Farbon all gave an indication of their potential, similarly we have seen these indications earlier in the year from Sally Conway and Colin Oates though they were unable to build on this at the European Championships.
"We must continue to focus on what we need to achieve over the remainder of this foundation period.
Clark's silver medal was the stand-out performance in Georgia, not least because she dispatched of Olympic champion Guila Quintavalle of Italy en route to the final.
But Roux is under no illusions as to the work required to make Great Britain competitive at London 2012.
"We went into this European Championships with a clear understanding of where we are in this Olympic Cycle, and that there is still a substantial gap to the international elite," he added.
"We therefore need to return to the confirmation process with all the players for the World Championships in Rotterdam and we need to ensure the most relevant experiences for these players during this phase."