Karina Bryant

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Karina Bryant
Olympic Judo London 2012 (28 of 98)-crop.jpg
Bryant (in blue Judogi) competing at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London
Personal information
Born (1979-01-27) 27 January 1979 (age 41)
Kingston-upon-Thames, London
Height1.84 m (6 ft 12 in) (2012)
Weight103 kg (227 lb) (2012)[1]
Country United Kingdom
Event(s)+78kg class
ClubCamberley judo club
Coached byLuke Preston
Retired2 August 2013
Updated on 4 August 2012.

Karina Bryant (born 27 January 1979) is a British judoka. She has represented Great Britain at four successive Olympics, winning the bronze medal in the heavyweight event at her final Games, the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She was a seven-time medallist at both the European Judo Championships and the World Judo Championships, and has been European Champion on four occasions.

Bryant announced her retirement from professional Judo in August 2013.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Kingston-upon-Thames, London, Bryant learnt judo as a child. At the age of ten she joined the Camberley club and earned her black belt less than six years later.[1] She competed for Kingston in the London Youth Games.


She entered the European Junior Championships in 1995, competing in the over 72 kg class, she finished with a silver medal. The following year another European silver medal followed, but she went one place better and won the World Junior Championships. She won a further Junior World title in 1998, and won the European title for the first time in that same year.[1]

She made her first Olympic appearance at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Australia. She was a member of the British squad that attended the opening ceremony and has fond memories of it, "I remember just seeing so many British flags and it felt so good. I will never forget that moment."[3] She reached the round of 16, but was eliminated from the competition.[3]

She was selected twice more for Great Britain at the Olympics in 2004 in Athens, and in 2008 in Beijing. She reached the quarter finals in 2004, but did not make it through the repechage round, and only reached the round of 16 once more in 2008.[3]

2012 and the London Olympics[edit]

She suffered an injury to her neck in 2011 and was unable to train for six months, but she took part in an intensive month of training during 2012 to restore her fitness levels. She had been funded by the National Lottery so that she could train for the 2012 Summer Olympics, but found it financially difficult to do so.[4] She launched a campaign to raise £5,000 so that she could afford to buy a car to get to training.[5] She competed at the 2012 European Championships and qualified out of the pool stage, but was beaten by Russian Elena Ivashchenko. She won the following repechage round to claim the bronze medal at the tournament, her seventh medal at the European stage.[6]

On 26 June 2012, Bryant was confirmed a competitor with the rest of the British judoka squad. She was selected to compete in the over 78 kg section, and the appearance would mark it as her fourth Olympic Games.[7] On 3 August, she started her campaign at the Games; her first match was a victory over Algeria's competitor Sonia Asselah. In her round of 16, she edged past third-seeded Slovenian Lucija Polavder, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist. In the quarter-final she beat Kazakhstan's Gulzhan Issanova to set up a semi-final match against Japan's Mika Sugimoto.[8][9] However, she lost that bout, sending her into a play-off for the bronze medal against Iryna Kindzerska from Ukraine.[4]

After initially going down by a waza-ari, she responded with one of her own. Her opponent scored a yuko on her, but Bryant took another waza-ari, which combined with the first gave her an ippon, the victory in the bout and the bronze medal.[4] It was the second medal of the Games for a British competitor in the Judo contests after Gemma Gibbons had won a silver a day earlier, something Bryant said had inspired her to go on and get a medal of her own.[4] She dedicated her medal to the rest of the British judo squad.[10] Following her victory, Bryant stated that she had not yet ruled out competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, which would be her fifth Olympic Games.[4]


On 2 August 2013 Bryant announced her retirement from professional Judo saying "I feel my body is telling me this is the right time to retire."[11] She had three surgeries after the London Olympics but aggravated an old injury when she tried to return to training.[11]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Karina Bryant". Team GB. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Judoka Bryant to retire".
  3. ^ a b c "Karina Bryant". Go Surrey. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Olympics judo: Great Britain's Karina Bryant wins bronze medal". BBC Sport. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Battling veteran Karina Bryant ends her judo career with a bronze". Daily Express. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Karina Bryant wins bronze at European Judo Championships". BBC Sport. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Euan Burton and Karina Bryant leading hopes in 14-strong squad". BBC Sport. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  8. ^ Mairs, Gavin (3 August 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: Karina Bryant takes bronze to claim Britain's second judo medal in two days". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  9. ^ "Olympic Judo: Team GB's Bryant into judo semi-finals". BBC Sport. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  10. ^ Mullin, Cheryl (4 August 2012). "Karina Bryant dedicates medal to Team GB judo squad". Huddersfield Examiner. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Karina Bryant: Olympic bronze medallist judoka retires". BBC Sport-Judo. 2 August 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.

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