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British coach Kate Howey lyrical about Gemma Howell
28 Nov 2019 13:25
Having coached her for 16 years, Kate Howey is in no doubt that Gemma Howell will live up to her dreams and win judo gold at Tokyo 2020. Howey, the only British woman to have won two Olympic judo medals – silver in Sydney and bronze in Barcelona – has coached Howell since the Stafford-born judoka was just 13 years old, seeing her overcome multiple injuries throughout her career.
Competition is fierce in British women's judo in the lead up to Tokyo with both Sally Conway and Howell competing for the same weight category.
But for Andover-born Howey, the tenacity shown by the latter to win gold in Budapest and Zagreb and bronze in Brazil following back-to-back knee and neck operations proves she has the mental strength to succeed.
"They just keep jumping each other in terms of the qualification so Gemma just has to keep plugging away getting the results that she's been getting lately and stay injury-free ahead of next year," said Howey.
"She has wanted to win gold at Tokyo ever since the age of 13. She's had some hard times through injuries, so she's always had that mantra of Olympic gold and that's what she believes in and that's what she wants.
"She's such a giving girl, too. She works so hard, one of the hardest workers we have. Who knows what will happen on the day."
Two-time Olympic medallist Howey came through the ranks in this era to become the first British judoka to have competed at four Olympic Games.
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Szabolcs Krizsan (HUN)