Zeitung Heute : Fighting spirit

Although Paralympics GB’s judo stars went into the Games with injuries, the squad hasn’t been this successful since the Atlanta 1996 Games.

Silver and bronze. Samuel Ingram (left) and Ben Quilter fought for Britain’s judo team.
Silver and bronze. Samuel Ingram (left) and Ben Quilter fought for Britain’s judo team.Foto: dpa

The ParalympicsGB’s judokas have bagged one silver and one bronze medal which is their biggest haul since 1996. But with expectations higher than ever this year, the team found it difficult to console themselves about not picking up any golds. "In Beijing I won the bronze medal and in London I lost the gold, that's how I see it," said a somewhat downhearted Samuel Ingram, the team's silver medallist.

Despite their hard work, the team suffered some setbacks before the Games. Team captain Ben Quilter was injured during the test matches around the 50 day mark before the Games, where he snapped the cruciate ligament in his knee. Winning bronze felt like "a relief as much as it is a real achievement and something I'm going to be extremely proud of". Quilter went into the fight with the injury he'd sustained seven weeks prior and said: "I wasn't really sure what I would be capable of." He admits he was "struggling to think positive" before heading into the match.

Ingram too has been out of action recently due to injury which dashed his gold-medal chances. "The Paralympics are the second time I've fought in 23 months," he said. The optimum would be every two to three months." Ingram needs more figthing practice in order to be at his peak and he will look to reach that in four years in Rio 2016.

Quilter explains that going into a match injured is very difficult psychologically. But it seemed the home crowd were the perfect remedy as they cheered on the ParalympicsGB judo squad to the most success since Atlanta. "The crowd were out of this world,“ said Quilter.

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