JUDO: Making the grade

This Is Wiltshire: Jemima Duxberry, left, with, left to right, winner Faith Pitman and senior U63kgs bronze medallists Lucy Renshall Kate Harris in Sheffield Jemima Duxberry, left, with, left to right, winner Faith Pitman and senior U63kgs bronze medallists Lucy Renshall Kate Harris in Sheffield

JEMIMA Duxberry hopes she proved that she can cut it at the highest level by winning her first ever major senior medal at last weekend’s British Championships.

The 18-year-old Devizes judoka, who won three European Junior Cup medals last year, won four of her six matches in the U63kg category to clinch silver behind Faith Pitman at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on Sunday.

“Saturday (she won silver in the junior women U63kg category) wasn’t quite the result I was after but Sunday was great and I guess it’s the biggest medal I’ve ever won,” said Duxberry, who trains at the University of Bath.

“I beat Jodie Mullen, the girl who went to the U23 Euros (in Prague last November) and even the matches I lost were really close battles.

“Everyone had spent a long time preparing for these championships and I hope that winning a senior medal shows that I can compete at a high level.

“Maybe it will help me to get a bit of funding because people don’t really look at you as much when you’re a junior player.

“I’ve been training full-time at Bath since September and it is has been very different to what I was used to but in the last few weeks, I’ve started to feel improvement.

“I’m off to the Belgian Ladies’ Open this weekend and, after that, I’ll sit down with my coach Juergen (Klinger) and see what he wants me to do next.”

Fellow Devizes player Tom Reed (pictured left, in blue) was forced to settle for silver in the men’s U81kg section.

Reed, who turns 27 next Tuesday, was not able to add his gold at the 2012 senior closed championships, racking up five wins before narrowly losing his decider with Tom Davis (Camberley).

“I beat him (Davis) last year and I was gutted because it was just one little mistake at the end that cost the fight for me,’’ said Reed, who will next be in action at the Belgium Open in Visé on February 2-3.

“Sometimes it comes down to fine margins. Sometimes the top players get knocked out straight away at the British Championships.

“I’ve done a lot of endurance work over the winter and I was still pretty pleased with my performance. I just didn’t get that one result.”

Devizes Judo Club youngster Charlotte Emery, who is 16 and lives in Trowbridge, was also in medal-winning form at Saturday’s junior championships, claiming a bronze in the U52kg category.

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