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London 2012: Glorious Gibbons into Olympic final

15:05 02 August 2012

Gemma Gibbons

Gemma Gibbons

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Greenwich judo player Gemma Gibbons is in the Olympic final at 4pm

Greenwich judo player Gemma Gibbons will fight for gold or silver after a fantastic victory over World champion Audrey Tcheumeo in her under-78kg Olympic semi-final clash.

The 25-year-old, who is a student at the University of East London, looked exhausted as she went into golden score extra time in her last four bout against the French girl, but it was her attacks that were proving more potent as the match moved into the final minute and a half.

And with a devastating throw she put hot favourite Tcheumeo on to her back for a match-winning score of ippon.

Gibbons is now guaranteed either a gold or silver medal when she fights in the Olympic final against Kayla Harrison of the United States, beginning at 4pm.

It had already been a magnificent day for the Londoner who had come through three matches just to reach the semi-final battle.

Earlier she had won her first round match with a stunning Uchi Mata throw for ippon against Yahima Ramirez of Portugal, before a dramatic match in the last 16 against seventh seed Lkhamdegd Purevjargal from Mongolia.

Leading by a yuko, the smallest score in judo, it looked like the Londoner was facing heartbreaking defeat when with seven seconds to go a late counter was scored as a yuko for the Mongolian after all three judges came on to the mat to discuss it.

With a passivity mark against Gibbons, it looked like the game was up, but incredibly with one second to go, the Greenwich girl went on to the attack and with a Sumi-gaeshi throw she was given a second yuko to win it.

In the quarter-final against former World Champion Marhinder Verkerk of the Netherlands. The UEL student had matched her opponent move for move in a real battle in the quarter-finals, but it seemed to be set for three minutes of golden score extra time as the scores remained blank deep into the final minute.

But with just 10 seconds to go, the 25-year-old Londoner launched a stunning throw which initially scored her a match-winning ippon.

That was downgraded to a 10-point Waza-ari, and she then held on for the final few seconds to clinch her place in the last four.

Liz Egan, the High Performance Sports Manager at the UEL, where Gibbons is studying for a Masters in Exercise Science and Health, was naturally delighted with the way things have gone so far.

“As a Masters student here at the University of East London, Gemma has been incredibly focused over the last year, combining her studies with her Olympic training commitments and both staff and fellow pupils will be rooting for her in the semi-finals,” she said

Earlier she had won her first round match with a stunning Uchi Mata throw for ippon against Yahima Ramirez of Portugal, before a dramatic match in the last 16 against seventh seed Lkhamdegd Purevjargal from Mongolia.

Leading by a yuko, the smallest score in judo, it looked like the Londoner was facing heartbreaking defeat when with seven seconds to go a late counter was scored as a yuko for the Mongolian after all three judges came on to the mat to discuss it.

With a passivity mark against Gibbons, it looked like the game was up, but incredibly with one second to go, the Greenwich girl went on to the attack and with a Sumi-gaeshi throw she was given a second yuko to win it.

 

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