Olympic Judo: Heartbreak for Fletcher against Austria

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Ireland’s Megan Fletcher tasted defeat at her first Olympic Games early this morning, narrowly losing out to Austria

Judo is a combat sport between two opponents, originated in Japan and the word literally means ‘the gentle way’.

The objective of judo is to throw or take down an opponent to the ground or subdue them with a pinning hold, or force them to submit with a joint lock or a choke.

Irish Judoka Megan Fletcher was beaten late in the first elimination round in the women’s – 70kg this morning. This was a rematch from the bronze medal at the World Championships six weeks ago as she faced Austria’s Michaela Polleres.

Fletcher displayed impressive skill and determination against Austria’s Michaela Polleres, but lost by Waza-Ari (the second highest score in Judo) in the final three seconds.

Both Judokas picked up Shido penalties in the opening 46 seconds of the match, with Fletcher picking up a second towards the three-and-a-half-minute mark.

As pressure was mounting, Fletcher closed the space and Polleres preformed a Ushiro-gosh, a waza technique that consists of grasping the opponent in a bear hug, lifting them, and throwing them down on the tatami, to result in a 1s1 – 0s2 win for the Austrian.

“It was always going to be a really hard contest,” said Fletcher afterwards.

“For our entire careers, we have been having head-to-head fights. You have to be in the best position that you can, someone has to win, and someone has to lose. It wasn’t meant to be today.”

“I have had a great career. I am very proud of myself. It is great for our family to have two Olympians. It was really hard watching Ben in Rio when I didn’t make it myself. I am very proud of him and will cheer him on when he competes next,” added Fletcher.

Ireland’s last judo fighter will take to the mat tomorrow as Benjamin Fletcher, Megan’s brother, will take on Uzbekistan’s Mukhammadkarim Khurramov in the Round of 32 elimination match.

 

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