Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Judo star Adlington in medal drama

Sarah Adlington celebrates winning gold at the SECC during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

One of Scotland's triumphant judo stars had to cut her celebrations short last night after temporarily losing her gold medal.

Sarah Adlington, who won the women's +78kg final on a great final day for Scotland's judo team, realised she did not have her medal as she returned to the athletes' village in the east end of Glasgow.

She initially thought one of her team mates was playing a joke on her but soon found out that no one was hiding it and the medal was missing.

Luckily the 27-year-old did not have to go far to find it.

"When we were getting back into the village we went through security so I put my medal in its box and put it through," she said.

"When I saw the box at the other end my medal wasn't in it but I thought someone was just messing about and having a little joke - it's the kind of thing I like to do so I expect it back to me.

"It was only after we were in the food hall that everyone was adamant and telling me, 'Sarah we don't have your medal', so I had to go back and try and find it."

Adlington went back to the athletes' security entrance and caused a panic among staff who started searching for the prized medal.

"When I first went in the woman in security was having a bit of a panic but she could see that we were serious and they eventually found it stuck in the x-ray machine.

"It could've been there for days but lucky they found it and we're reunited.

"It just fell into some little space and wasn't easily visible."

Adlington won gold on the same night as Scottish flagbearer Euan Burton and Royal Marine Chris Sherrington at the SECC.

Burton, 35, described the medal as a "fantastic end" to his competitive career.

"To have the last match be a Commonwealth Games final in Glasgow in front of that home crowd - what a phenomenal experience," he said.

"It was just amazing. I'm very proud and it was great to have lots of my friends and family, JudoScotland supporters and staff in the audience."

Burton, who suffered disappointment in 2012 following his first-round exit at the Olympics, added: "The Olympic Games is what I worked my whole life towards and Olympic champion was my goal and I didn't manage to achieve it. Nothing that I achieve after, or that I did achieve before, will make that day any different or any better. It doesn't make up for London, but it's a fantastic end to my career."

Sherrington was delighted with his medal and dedicated it to all Armed Forces personnel.

He said: "I really hope that everyone is proud of me and my achievements because this isn't just my medal, this is the Armed Forces medal, this is the Royal Marines medal.

"Everyone who is serving, this is for them because we work as a team and it's only as a team that we get the job done."

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