Bryant brought the house down when her London 2012 bronze medal was announced after a tough contest in the women’s 78kg judo competition. Only yesterday, Britain was celebrating a silver medal in judo after Londoner Gemma Gibbons came second in her competition.
Bryant successfully challenged Ukranian Iryna Kindzerska in a judo contest that did not, initially, look as though it was going the Brit’s way.
The bronze medal will be a glorious moment for 33-year-old Bryant who is four-time Euro champion but had never, before today, hit the Olympic podium.
The judo star also revealed the level of personal dedication necessary to pursue her Olympic dream, admitting that she was forced to ask strangers for cash earlier this year in order to buy a car to get to training.
Bryant said before the Games began: “I feel good, the draw could have been better and could have been worse, and everybody is ready to fight now. I’m sure the other fighters are more concerned about me than I am of them but we’ll see what happens.”
Spectators held their breath as the contest began but Bryant was able to match a *waza-ari from Kindzerska with one of her own, minutes later being declared the bronze medal winner.
*Baffled by judo terms? Here’s a guide:
Ippon – A perfect throw. Victory in one move (10 points)
Waza-ari – A score, almost an Ippon (score value of 7 points)
Sudden death – Used as a tiebreaker. Play ends as soon as one competitor is ahead of the others.
Judo – The name of the sport itself means gentle or flexible way. ‘The way of yielding’