'I didn't come here for silver,' says Sam Ingram after Judo final
about a year ago
Sam Ingram won Britain’s second Judo medal of the London 2012 Paralympic Games to ensure the team achieved its best medal haul in the sport since 1996.
But the 27 year old from Edinburgh said he was disappointed that he couldn’t turn silver into gold in today’s Under 90kg final.
“On the face of it, silver is a great achievement, but I’m disappointed,” he said. “I’m sure I’ll look back on it one day and be proud of silver, but right now, with all the training and effort I’ve put in, it’s not what I set out for.
“I came here to win the tournament and I thought I was going to win the tournament. No-one ever sets out to come second.”
Ingram ended up chasing the final after his Cuban opponent ,Jorge Hierrezuelo Marcillis, took a lead. “The match got away from me and I couldn’t pull it back. I felt like I was the better judo player, but I couldn’t control what was going on,” said Ingram, who took bronze in Beijing four years ago.
His performance means the British Judo team collected two medals at the Games – a silver and a bronze – their best medal haul since the gold and two bronzes achieved at the Atlanta Games in 1996.
The final day of Judo at London 2012 saw Britain’s hopes resting on the shoulders of the Ingram brothers, originally from Coventry.
Sam had a bye in the opening round and then met Dartanyon Crockett of the USA in the quarter-finals. Ingram took just 53 seconds to dispatch him with a contest-winning Ippon score achieved with an Okuri-ashi-bari throw.
That put Ingram into the semi-finals and a gruelling contest against Argentina’s Jorge Lencina. The British judoka made all the running with Lencina, a 2010 World Championship bronze medallist, penalised on three occasions within the five-minute contest for non-combativity.
Those penalties were enough to hand victory to the British athlete and with it a place in the final against Marcillis, a bronze medallist at the 2010 World Championships.
The aggressive Cuban proved a step too far for Ingram. A Yuko score achieved by Marcillis with an Uchi-mata throw a minute and 43 seconds into the contest left Ingram chasing the fight. Despite determined efforts, time ebbed away and Ingram was left with silver.
Joe Ingram, who currently lives in Dartford, was competing at his first Paralympic Games and just missed out on the medals at Under 100kg.
He dominated his opening round contest against Canada’s Tim Rees, ultimately winning with an Ura-nage throw, putting him into the quarter-finals.
That set up a contest against Gwang-Geun Choi – a rematch of the 2010 World Championships final. The Korean repeated his victory in that final, outscoring Ingram with a Waza-ari score, three Yuko and a Shido to Ingram’s one Yuko and one Shido.
So Ingram went into the repechage and two more wins away from a bronze medal. His next opponent, Germany’s Oliver Upmann, was controversially awarded an Ippon score to win the contest after 45 seconds. Ingram felt it was him who should have received a score, but despite an appeal, the jury stuck by the original decision, leaving Sam in seventh.
“I was disappointed with the decision, but it was an amazing experience competing here with the crowd going crazy,” he said at the end of his campaign.
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