Sam Hall disappointed after falling to fellow Brit in judo gold medal bout

·2 min read
Sam Hall disappointed after falling to fellow Brit in judo gold medal bout

Sheffield judoka Sam Hall beat himself up at losing Commonwealth gold to domestic rival Ashley McKenzie.

The highly-rated 21-year-old came into the men’s 60kg competition as one of the top seeds and favourites having won Grand Prix gold and Grand Slam bronze in the last year.

Hall breezed through rounds, beating Nauru’s Isamaela Solomon with two waza’ari throws inside a minute and then dispatching Welshman Daniel Rabbitt in a mere 18 seconds.

He also had far too much for Cypriot Petros Christodoulides that secured at least a silver medal and a much-anticipated all-English final with McKenzie.

Former Celebrity Big Brother star McKenzie has been doing this a lot longer than Hall and a veteran of three Olympic Games.

The 33-year-old was able to dictate the gold medal bout and won with two waza’ari throws in quick time to seal gold with Hall left to settle for silver.

He said: “I’m disappointed. I felt I could have given more.

“That’s the way judo goes, if everything’s right, it goes your way. Something wasn’t right, so I need to go back, look at it and see where I go from here.

“I’ll look back on this, reflect and move on to something at the end of the year.”

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.

Packed crowds in Coventry watched a day of judo that saw English grapplers secure four medals.

Hall said: “It’s been amazing. To be in front of a home crowd is something we don’t get a lot of in judo.

“We always go to other places and see people fighting in front of their home crowd, the spur it gives them, and we never feel that.

“It’s amazing to be at home. It’s an individual sport but the support I have behind me, it’s so nice for them to be able to come and watch.”

On the future, Hall said: “It’s a nice medal to pick up but it’s not what I came here for. I’ll start moving on to try and qualify for Paris.”

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