Belfast Telegraph

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Mixed emotions for our Kearney as she calls time on judo career


By Matt McGeehan

Lisa Kearney has reflected on "an incredible journey" after bringing the curtain down on her judo career.

The 28-year-old from west Belfast claimed bronze in the 52kg division at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow two years after representing Ireland at the London Olympics.

A bad knee injury in 2015 cruelly ended hopes of a second Olympic appearance in Rio but Ireland's first female judoka to qualify for an Olympics can still reflect on a remarkable career.

After announcing her retirement, Kearney said: "The past 20 years have been an incredible journey.

"It is with a mixture of sadness and joy that I have made the decision to officially retire.

"The support I received allowed me to represent my country on the world stage and together we overcame many obstacles.

"I want to say the most genuine thank you to every single person who supported me and made this journey possible."

Kearney also paid tribute to her "world-class coach Ciaran Ward, who was with me every step of the way".

The Irish Judo Association praised Kearney's commitment to her sport, saying: "We will be forever grateful to her for her wonderful dedication to the sport she has loved since she was a child."

The five-time Irish champion also won 11 World Cup medals, including four gold.

Belfast Telegraph

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