May 22 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Olympics judo: Ashley McKenzie beaten by Hiroaki Hiraoka (ippon)
Ashley McKenzie’s dreams of an Olympic judo medal were shattered at the first hurdle as he lost to second seed Hiroaki Hiraoka.
The 23-year-old from Willesden was always facing an uphill task after being paired with Hiraoka – twice a silver medallist at the World Championships – in the men’s under-60kg round of 32 at the ExCel Centre.
McKenzie made a promising start against his Japanese opponent, but was then penalised points and Hiraoka made certain of victory by pinning him for ippon with 50 seconds remaining.
The Team GB star, who joined Willesden Judo Club at the age of 11 and went on to become a European under-23 gold medallist and twice British champion, had gone into London 2012 in good form after winning ranking tournaments in Germany and Poland.