Salisbury wins karate bronze at Youth Olympics
PUBLISHED: 08:15 19 October 2018
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Romford’s Lauren Salisbury won karate bronze on the final day of the Youth Olymmpics in Argentina.
The 16-year-old had to wait patiently for her chance to impress on the mat, but didn’t disappoint in the women’s +59kg kumite event.
After an initial 4-2 defeat to Kelii Kydonaki of Greece, with the bout very even until two late points for her rival, Salisbury had to bounce back strongly in her second against a fighter from the United Arab Emirates.
Needing a win, an aggressive and positive Salisbury started well, scoring quick points with the UAE fighter unable to find a response, and eventually winning 5-0.
Despite another loss, this time to Norwegian Annika Saelid (2-0) results dictated that a countback was required and Salisbury’s superior points tally saw her through to a semi-final with Sakura Sawashima from Japan.
Safe passage through to the semi-finals meant that Salisbury was guaranteed a medal but Sawashima ensured it was bronze with a dominant display, running out a 9-1 victor.
Speaking after winning bronze, a clearly delighted Salisbury said: “It’s a surreal moment, completely unbelievable.
“It was touch and go in the group stages but we didn’t expect it [the Greek/UAE bout] to play out as it did and we just sat there and waited. But it was the points I got against the UAE fighter that got me through.
“I haven’t medalled at a European or World Championships before so this is incredible. The whole experience has been amazing, how other sports approach performance and adapt to environments, it’s been a great learning experience.”
Salisbury’s bronze helped GB finish the 12-day competition with 15 medals in total, including three gold, six silver and six bronze, with medals in eight different sports.