It’s taken a week and a half but I couldn’t let Karina’s bronze medal at the Europeans past without a post.
The Europeans were in Chelyabinks and Great Britain Sent 21 athletes, only one medalled – Karina Bryant. Sarah Clark and Sally Conway came 5th and 7th respectively.
It should be noted UK sport base their funding on Olympic, World and European medals. The funding is based upon potential to deliver at an OLympic games and this is derived from the World and European medals (of course there are other criteria). Funding for an Olympic cycle is therefore based upon performance in the previous cycle i.e. 2008-2012 funding was based upon our 2004-2008 performance in OG, worlds and Europeans. We should look at these and the ones through this present Olympic cycle.
2005 Euro – GBR won, 1G, 2S and 1B
2005 Worlds – GBR won 1G & 2S.
Of these 2005 medal Karina won gold at the Europeans and 2 of the silvers at the worlds
2006 Euro – GBR 2G and 2B (Karina came 7th)
2007 Euro - GBR 2B
2007 Worlds – 1S & 1B
2008 Euro - No medal
2008 Olympic Games - No medal
2009 Euro - 1S
2009 Worlds – 1S
Both of these silvers were Karina and the woman she lost to in the final of the worlds was later found to test positive for drugs.
2010 Euro - GBR 2B
2010 worlds – 1B
One of the Bronze at the Europeans was Karina
2011 Euro - 2B
2011 Worlds - No medals (Karina came 7th)
2012 Euro - 1B (Karina)
Therefore we can say that over the last two Olympic cycles GBR has won 21 medals and 7 of these were Karina Bryant. I think the only other players in the last ten years to consistently win medals at world and European level are Euan Burton and Craig Fallon.
Surely then we can argue that much of the high performance funding GBR has seen for this Olympic cycle (£7.9m) and probably the next is due to Karina Bryant despite being injured for much of the 10 years.
The reason I wanted to write this post is twofold. Firstly I think British judo owes a great debt to Karina and she should be given huge respect for this. Secondly, in my opinion, Karina’s bronze medal fight in Chelyabinks is the best I have ever seen her, she is strong, has great judo and hopefully ready for London!
Here is Karina’s bronze medal fight