By Paul Osborne

Gemma Gibbons has said she was not confident about being picked to represent England at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games ©Getty ImagesGemma Gibbons, the British Olympic judo silver medallist, has admitted she was not confident about being selected for the English Glasgow 2014 squad after injury hindered her time on the tatami since her heroics at London 2012.

The 27-year-old, who has been picked for this year's Commonwealth Games, secured Britain's first Olympic judo medal in 12 years when she booked a spot in the -78 kilogram final at London's ExCeL Arena in 2012.

Although she ultimately fell to the United States' Kayla Harrison in the final, she became an instant star on the British judo scene.

Nearly two years on and, despite picking up her first International Judo Federation (IJF) Grand Prix gold and her first Grand Slam medal, Gibbons has managed relatively little time on the tatami in the competitive sense.

"I have not competed on the international stage in about nine months," she admitted.

"I had shoulder surgery and then had an ankle injury.

"I am just getting back into full-time training now and am probably about three weeks to a month being off of that, and as any athlete knows, if you have had that amount of time off, then it takes another good couple of months to get your fitness back, especially with a sport like judo, which is so technical."

With injuries hindering her ability to compete, Gibbons said there was a "big question mark over whether I would be picked or not".

Gemma Gibbons took silver at the London 2012 Games becoming the first Briton to win an Olympic judo medal in 12 years ©Getty ImagesGemma Gibbons took silver at the London 2012 Games becoming the first Briton to win an Olympic judo medal in 12 years ©Getty Images

"Not because of my ability, but because of the selection criteria by England Judo, and the points they chose to accommodate for each level of competition," she added.

"The tournaments I went for, the Grand Prix and Grand Slams, were a higher level, but the way points were allocated did not actually show that, so actually I probably was not going to get selected.

"But one of the girls in 48kg has got a serious spine injury, so she is unable to compete, which left a space open, and I had the next top level of points, so have been selected through that.

"At one point, I did not think I would be going, which was very annoying as I know I am the better player, but you just have to deal with what is out there.

"I knew what the selection policy was, and I knew I was not going to meet it."

Gibbons also said it has been a difficult time for her, with injury after injury putting her "down in the dumps".

"The first injury I got I sustained a broken thumb at the Games, and when you have a serious injury like that, it does put you down in the dumps, but I was on such a high from the Games, that it was only once I had been off the mat for around four months I thought 'come on, this is annoying now'," she explained.

"But I just got on with it.

"After I won my first Grand Prix medal, I was up on the clouds again, then I broke my wrist two weeks later, and was off for another five months, after that, I thought 'now I have got to have luck on my side'.

"I came back from that, won my first ever Grand Slam medal, then found out I needed shoulder surgery, so it has been one thing after another.

"But the fact I know I am one of the best judokas in the world and have the potential to be the best, that is what keeps me going.

"I am a winner and hate losing."

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