Rio 2016: McKenzie tumbles out of judo event
PUBLISHED: 08:26 07 August 2016 | UPDATED: 08:34 07 August 2016
PA/Press Association Images
Slender loss to world champion ends hopes
Ashley McKenzie bowed out of the men’s judo competition on the first day of the Rio Olympics after losing to world champion Yeldos Smetov of Kazakhstan.
The 27-year-old from north London beat Turkey’s Bekir Ozlu (3-0) in his first round bout of the under-60kg event, but lost to just a single point from Smetov in the last 16.
And he admitted defeat was hard to take after a four-year wait to compete on the Olympic stage once again.
McKenzie said: “I thought I had him but the way judo goes I obviously didn’t.
“It is one of those things in judo – you try for four years and then it is over in two fights. I missed out on a medal by losing to the world champion.
“There is nothing you can do but you put in four years and God knows how many hours that is. Arguing with your family, your parents, your friends, not going on holiday with them and stuff.
“You dedicate your whole life to one thing and then to come here and for it to be over in two fights is the worst.
“The first win was a good win for me but at the end of the day I was expecting to win that. I don’t come here to compete I come here to fight.
“I am a fighter so I was chuffed with that win as he is a good fighter and has medalled in a few big tournaments but at the end of the day it is my job to beat him.”
Team GB’s Colin Oates, who grew up and learned judo in Havering, is due to compete in the 66kg category today, while North London’s Nekoda Smythe-Davis has her first bout in the women’s under-57kg competition on Monday afternnon.