By Mike Rowbottom

April 24 - Karina Bryant (picturedin white) has won bronze at the 2010 European Judo Championships in Vienna - the seventh European medal of her career. 



Bryant’s bronze matched that won for Britain earlier by Euan Burton on the final day of a Championships which saw four other Britons place seventh.

The four-time European champion had a strong start, winning her first contest against Marianne Hollensteiner of Austria with an impressive throw for ippon.

Progressing to the quarter-final, the 31-year-old faced Larisa Ceris of Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Both players were penalised for passivity early in the fight, but the Briton took the lead when her opponent conceded another penalty.

Bryant then managed to keep in front and win the fight.

The +78kg fighter then faced old-rival Lucija Polavader of Slovenia in the semi-final.

Bryant secured her last European medal by beating the Slovenian in the 2005 +78kg final.

This time, the Slovenian dominated the fight and it ended with a disqualification for Bryant having received three penalties.

Polavader went on to win gold.

Bryant’s next fight against Gulsah Kocaturk of Turkey was her final chance to take a seventh European medal.

The bronze medal contest started slowly with Bryant receiving a penalty for not attacking.

Both players then received a penalty apiece, leaving Karina one penalty point away from a second disqualification.

But the Brit acted quickly, following up on the ground with a strangle hold, which secured a submission from Kocaturk for the bronze medal.

This seventh European medal adds to Bryant’s illustrious CV, which includes four European titles, seven senior world medals, two junior world titles and four junior European medals, including one gold.

Reflecting on the Championships, Margaret Hicks, British Judo's Performance Director said: "The performances across the team, with two bronzes and four top eight places at this year's Europeans, are a positive sign that incremental improvements are being made.

"This reflects well on the strategy of our Head Coach Patrick Roux and work from all the coaches.

"Progressively more and more players are being connected to the right level."

Contact the writer of this story at mi[email protected]


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