British Judo player Ben Quilter battled back from defeat in his opening contest to win bronze at the London 2012 Paralympic Games today (Thursday 30 August).
The 30 year old, who lives in Stone, Kent, won his bronze in the Under 60kg class, the same weight division in which he finished joint fifth in Beijing four years ago.
While initially targeting gold, he said taking bronze meant “a massive amount” after he suffered an injury to his left knee in training just seven weeks ago.
Quilter had a bye in his opening round but then drew Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games gold medallist Mouloud Noura of Algeria in the quarter finals.
The British athlete put up a gritty battle but it was the Algerian who took the honours, winning the bout with a Tai-otoshi throw that scored a contest winning Ippon with a minute and 40 seconds remaining.
“I was hoping for gold, so losing my first match wasn’t an option,” he said. “The Algerian is a great player, but it was a long way back from that.
“It was touch and go whether I’d be here after I injured my knee,” he said. “I had some great treatment and rehab to help me through it, but I was struggling to do my best judo today.
“I’m delighted to be walking away with a medal. It’s a real achievement and something I will be very proud of. Winning bronze means a massive amount to me.”