On My Mind Disciples
11 August 2016, 07:22
The dad of British bronze medallist Sally Conway has said her victory was made even sweeter after being set back by a string of injuries at other major tournaments.
Mark Conway, whose 29-year-old daughter scooped a bronze medal in the women's -70kg judo category, said it was the first time that everything had been "perfect'' in the run-up to a competition.
Conway was hampered by a shoulder injury at the London Olympics four years ago, suffered a hip injury during the World Championships in Brazil in 2013 which stopped her competing, and had two bad elbow injuries during a previous Junior European championships.
Mr Conway told the Press Association: "In major tournaments she's had a little bit of tough luck really, but in this one she's just come good: everything has been good.''
He said the bad luck in the past made this victory "sweeter'' not just for his daughter but for everyone who had been associated with her during her training.
Mr Conway, who introduced his daughter to the sport when she was eight, watched the competition on television at his home in London where he said he could shout at the screen without worrying about who was around him.
The delighted father said: "It's absolutely fantastic - the girl has worked so hard over the years.
"She is a proper judo story and today she's fit and well, she's showed her full potential which is absolutely brilliant.
"In her whole career every time she's been to a major tournament she's had something wrong with her like an injury or her preparation has been really poor, things like that, but this preparation leading up to this games, she's gone there 100% fit.''
He said his daughter would be "so pleased'' and "so happy'' with the result.
He said: "She's won so many things but she's not got the title and recognition, and this gives her the title that people would look at that defines her career.
"She's been in the top 10 in the world for the past eight or nine years but unrecognised I think because she hasn't got this title.''
Conway began training at Thornbury Leisure Centre in Bristol, then moved to a club at Bisham Abbey, Berkshire, before becoming full-time when she was 16.
The judo champion has spent the last 13 years training in Edinburgh, where she is now based.