Euro golds for Winning Students judo pair8 October 2018
Winning Students judoka, Josie Steele and Alex Short, claimed their first ever senior international medals in style at the weekend as they won gold at the 2018 European Open in Glasgow.
The Heriot-Watt University students put in their best performances to date, giving the enthusiastic home crowd plenty to cheer about at the Emirates Arena.
BSc Nanoscience student, Steele, was fighting at her first ever senior world ranking event but she never looked out of place competing against Europe’s finest in the -57kg category.
Having seen off fellow Winning Students scholar, Malin Wilson (also Heriot-Watt University) in the semi-final, the Highland Budokan judoka took on London 2012 bronze medallist Automne Pavia (FRA) in the final and took her chance to throw Pavia for waza-ari, to the delight of the home crowd.
Speaking after receiving her medal, Steele said: “It hasn’t really sunk in at the moment but it’s amazing to be finally on top of the podium at an event.
“I just took each fight as it came, I had no expectations whatsoever which I think is one of the reasons I did so well today.”
Meanwhile, in the men’s -66kg category, Alex Short, returned to Glasgow, having competed in the same event two years earlier, still seeking a coveted first senior international.
Having enjoyed comfortable victories in the early rounds, his quarter and semi-finals went the duration as he had to win by golden point to secure his place in the final.
Short had fought his gold medal match opponent, Adrian Nieto Chinarro (ESP), at a team event previously and that experience clearly helped as he threw the Spaniard for ippon with just 44 seconds on the clock.
Looking back on the day, Short said: “I can’t believe it. It’s a really, really good feeling. Wasn’t really expecting it today.
“It’s nice to have something to show for all the hard work I’ve been putting in.”