May 16 – Britain picked up a silver and a bronze medal on the second and final day of the British Open at the K2 in Crawley but the hosts were outshone by France, who put down a big marker for the London 2012 Olympics by dominating the competition.
France claimed gold in four of the seven categories on day two of the senior European Cup event as they took an emphatic 15 medals over the course of the weekend to convincingly finish at the top of the medal table ahead of the Netherlands and Spain respectively.
Second-placed Netherlands took home 11 medals which featured two golds, one silver and eight bronzes while third-placed Spain picked up one gold medal, four silvers and one bronze to pip hosts Britain, who finished in fourth spot.
In the -100kg final Frenchman Meheddi Khaldoun (pictured) led France's medal haul as he defeated Britain's James Austin after the home judoka received three shidos in the final and was left to settle for silver.
Austin said: "I'm disappointed but I can take positives from today, I was dominant in the earlier rounds, and my gripping was good.
"In the finals my opponent had a good game plan for me and I couldn't really impose myself in the fight but maybe I can consider taking a more tactical approach in the future."
Britain scored their bronze medal through Matthew Clempner, who defeated teammate Samson Omonua in the fight for the third podium place.
Clempner said: "I'm really pleased to earn my first medal at the British Open, it's been an ambition of mine and I really enjoyed the competition.
"I felt good coming into the event, my fitness is ever-improving and the competition was a very good test for me."
In total, four British fighters registered fourth-place finishes on day two as +100kg pair Chris Sherrington and Omonua, -81kg judoka Tom Reed and -48kg judoka Kimberley Renicks all lost bronze medal bouts.
Britain won four medals on day one through Nathon Burns, Lewis Keeble, Faith Pitman and Sarah Adlington but day two belonged undeniably to France.
In the -52kg category Frenchman Delphine Delsalle defeated Poland's Zuzanna Pawlikowska to take gold while her compatriot Morgane Brunet topped the -57kg category by beating Marine Richard in an all-French final.
At -81kg the fast-rising Loic Pietri of France made his mark by toppling Canada's Antonie Valois-Fortier to take gold and make the tournament a stunning success for the team.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
May 2011: Britain claim four medals on first day of British Open
May 2011: 400 Judoka prepare to fight for medals at London British Open