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European Games: Jemima Yeats-Brown going for judo gold

ByMatthew Panting

Jemima Yeats-Brown wants to win gold at the European Games this week – despite being unseeded.

Yeats-Brown is full of confidence after a promising 12 months which included a fifth-placed finish at the Worlds and her first Grand Prix medal.

“I’d quite like to win it,” beamed the 23-year-old. “I want to have a really good performance and put right some of the mistakes I have made.

Jemima Yeats-Brown Picture: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire
Jemima Yeats-Brown Picture: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire

“I’m really self-critical, even if I win. I’m always looking at what I can do better.

“I think it’s a realistic aim. It’s about your performance and if you do well then the medals will come.”

Despite finishing fifth at the World Championships last September in Baku, Yeats-Brown was left disappointed that she didn’t medal.

It’s an experience that means she has a burning desire to come home from Minsk in Belarus smiling.

“I was gutted,” she added. “It took me a long time to get over that but it has given me fuel to do well in the future.

“I came close to a medal and that gives me confidence. I will be unseeded again this time so I could face the No.1 seed early on, but you have to beat them
all at some stage to win it anyway.”

Yeats-Brown only moved up to the -78kg category a year ago but she’s already made her mark and goes into the Euros on the back of some promising performances.

She also explained how being part of the British Judo Centre of Excellence in Walsall has given her access to learn about different styles across the globe.

“The year started off really well when I got my first Grand Prix medal,” said Yeats-Brown.

“I was fifth at the Paris Grand Slam which is one of the biggest tournaments on the circuit.

“A lot of time has been spent travelling different countries. We’ve spent two weeks in Japan, a week in France, one in Austria.

“It’s about getting your hands on as many (different styles) as possible.

“The Russians are very physical, the French fight differently to the Austrians – you have to be ready for whatever style of opponent you are up against.

“We do a lot of video analysis and get as much information on different opponents as we can, as well as looking at our own.”

While the family home is Tonbridge, Yeats-Brown is predominantly based in the Midlands where she studies sports science at the University of Wolverhampton.

“I don’t spend a lot of time at home,” she admitted. “I’m at uni at Wolves but a lot of our time is spent on the road as well.

“The university is also at the Judo centre so I can do a lecture and then be ready for training within five minutes. Plus, I’ve got a course leader who is into his judo and is very accommodating so it all comes together really well.”

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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