Nadia_MinardiJanuary 23 - Nadia Minardi (pictured) marked her final competition after a 20-year judo career by taking bronze in the Senior British Trials at the English Institute of Sport (EIS) at Sheffield today.

"It meant a lot to finish my career by taking a medal and going up against some excellent fighters," said the Londoner after competing for the last time in the under 57kg category.

"I've been thinking that this would be my last one for a while.

"I think the time is right, but I still want to be involved in the sport as it's been a massive part of my life."

Minardi was joined at the EIS by more than 100 of Britain's top judoka who were competing for a place in the British squad, with the top four in each category automatically sealing a berth.

Wolverhampton Judo Club's Gemma Howell won top honours in the under 57kg with Edinburgh Club's Connie Ramsay taking second spot.

Bacup's Sophie Cox, who ended an extended stay in Thailand to return to the sport in 2010, was in fine form as she edged Scottish youngster Samantha Clark to take the gold medal in the under 52kg category.

The Rochdale judoka said: "I felt comfortable out there - it was good to take the win and I enjoyed competing.

"I needed to be professional today and do what was required so I'm now looking forward to competing internationally."

At under 60kg James Millar marched to top honours as he overcome Team Bath's Gregg Varey to take the gold medal as former world champion Craig Fallon moved up to under 66kg.

Fallon, 28, who has been training at Camberley, was coached by Hardy Spicer's Fitzroy Davies due to a mutual agreement between the two outfits.

The much-admired Fallon topped the category as he triumphed over training partner Nathon Burns.

"It went well out there, I wasn't sure I'd be competing a week ago as I was too dehydrated to make under 60kg and didn't feel right," said Fallon.

"It was good to compete back in Britain and of course I'm happy to be back fighting.

"I think my break from the sport has been good for me - I wasn't ready to call time on my career and now I think I have a good two or maybe three years to come in the sport."

At over 78kg Camberley's Karina Bryant emerged triumphant as she overcome Edinburgh's Sarah Adlington.

Bryant, who achieved her 20th major medal in the sport with a bronze at the 2010 European Championships, said: "It's always good to go up against Sarah - she's certainly coming along strong and it's good for me to have that competition."

The under 90kg category was a tenacious affair as Matthew Purssey, who represented Edinburgh and Pinewood, marked his return from injury by taking the gold medal.

Purssey was ruled out for the second half of 2010 after suffering a rotator cuff and biceps tear.

The 29-year-old, who finished in seventh place at the 2010 European Championships, has now won the gold at the event in three different weight categories, on this occasion ahead of Team Bath's Andrew Burns.

"There were some very good fighters in my weight and I'm delighted to come out on top.

"It's been a long hard journey to come back and it's pushed me physically and mentally," said Purssey.

Performance director Margaret Hicks said: "It's been a good weekend and we've seen some very competitive judo.

"There weren't too many surprises but Craig Fallon did take gold in the under 66kg category."

"The event is a good opportunity for club coaches to link up again with the players.

"They will be going to Belgium on Thursday so it'll be interesting to observe how some of these players perform.

"The trials along, with the Belgium Open next weekend, will assist with the selection process for the next round of tournaments."