Commonwealth Games: Euan Burton claims judo gold for Scotland, silver for wife Gemma Gibbons
Last Updated: 27/07/14 12:17am
Euan Burton won Commonwealth Games gold for Scotland in the men's under-100kg judo final, but wife Gemma Gibbons of England had to settle for a silver medal.
Burton claimed gold to the delight of the partisan crowd at the SECC when he defeated Shah Hussain Shah of Pakistan in Saturday night’s final.
Burton had come out of retirement when the opportunity presented itself to fight for Scotland in Glasgow - and the twice middleweight world championship bronze medalist needed all of his experience having chosen to step up two weights after moving into coaching following London 2012.
The 35-year-old, who suffered a disappointing first-round exit at the Olympics, produced some superb judo against heavier men to make it to the final, where he threw Shah before holding him down to submission and taking the adulation of the crowd as the Saltires flew around Hall 3.
Earlier, New Zealand's Tim Slyfield won bronze with an ippon tai-otoshi throw on Indian Sahil Apathania, before compatriot Jason Koster, sporting a bandage on a head wound, edged out Duke Didier of Australia on penalties.
However, speaking afterwards, Burton insisted there was never any chance of his achievements in Glasgow replacing the disappointments of London 2012.
"I have said before, and will do again now - this does not make up for London,” he stated. “I worked my whole life to try to be Olympic champion, and I fell short at both Games I made it to.
"But I am so proud to have been able to do this for Judo Scotland and for all the guys who are here watching it all.
I am so proud to have been able to do this for Judo Scotland and for all the guys who are here watching it all. Now, It is just a sense of relief at the moment, I guess tomorrow the excitement and pride will come.
"Now, It is just a sense of relief at the moment, I guess tomorrow the excitement and pride will come."
But while Burton could celebrate victory, wife Gibbons came up short as she was beaten by Wales’ Natalie Powell in the women's under-78kg final.
Disappointment for Gibbons
Gibbons, who has just returned from nine months out injured, could not produce the magical finishes from her earlier fights as Powell recorded an impressive success.
Powell, the 23-year-old who has broken into the world top 16 with consistent results on the International Judo Federation circuit, scored an early waza-ari throw and remained on the offensive throughout.
Hortense Mballa Atangana of Cameroon defeated India's Jina Devi Chongtham to win bronze, with Canadian Ana Laura Portuondo collecting the other bronze when she pinned down Seychelles fighter Brigitte Rose.
Gibbons could not hide her frustrations and said: "I was just not good enough, I came here for gold. I am disappointed with myself.
"I know that I can still be the best in the country and the world, or I would not still be going to training every day.
"Maybe this tournament might have been a bit soon for me, but you can say that about every tournament. There can be no excuses, I was just not good enough today."
Burton revealed he had not watched his wife's fight for gold, as he fine-tuned his own preparations, adding: "I was in the warm-up room, trying to stay as focused as I could and just caught the back end of the fight.
"She will be massively disappointed, because she came here for gold, but credit to Natalie, she has been coming on and it shows how strong we are in Great Britain at that weight category at this moment."
Scotland claimed another gold in the women's +78kgs heavyweights, where Sarah Adlington edged out England's Jodie Myers, the British Judo Centre of Excellence fighter, on a Yuko.
The bronze medals went to Annabelle Laprovidence of Maurituas and India's Rajwinder Kaur.