Fifth world judo title is biggest success yet for Gosport star Hopkins

Sarah Hopkins on top of the podium
Sarah Hopkins on top of the podium
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Sarah Hopkins secured her fifth world masters title on the bounce after overcoming her toughest challenge yet in Amsterdam.

The Gosport judo star defeated opponents from France, Germany and Russia to get the gold.

Ronda Crampton-Reid

Ronda Crampton-Reid

Her task was made more difficult from the very start of the competition.

After ensuring she made her weight of under-76kg, Hopkins found out no other competitors had done the same.

That meant she was switched into the over-78kg category.

It left her facing rivals who were much taller and heavier.

This was the toughest of all the world titles because the opposition were a bit heavier

Sarah Hopkins

And it was a challenge Hopkins had to overcome in her first match against her French opponent.

That required plenty of concentration and focus before she then discovered the German next up was even bigger.

Hopkins again kept her composure, though, to get her second win.

She completed her triumph with a convincing win against the Russian, who was a smaller, lighter competitor.

Hopkins said: ‘I think the French lady was over-90kg. She was very tall.

‘I had to put into practice what I had been doing in training. I knew what I had to do.

‘The first score went against me but we then moved to ground work and I held her down for 10 points.

‘The German was bigger still.

‘She was trying to get over the top of me but I knew what she was doing. She got a penalty against her and I kept her at bay.

‘The last fight was against the Russian.

‘I had seen her get thrown by the German when I was watching that one. It was a similar throw that I did to beat her.

‘She was strong to start with and very determined but I got my usual throw for 10 points. I threw her straight on her back.’

Hopkins has been stepping up her training to ensure she stays ahead of her biggest rivals.

She has been working with coaches Liam Franklin and Adrian Dove.

Their efforts have clearly paid off with her latest major international trophy to add to the collection.

‘I was a bit shell-shocked to win,’ said Hopkins.

‘The training I have had with my coaches won me the competition.

‘They have added another dimension to my judo.

‘This was the toughest of all the world titles because the opposition were a bit heavier.’

Hopkins was joined in Holland by her husband and club-mate Derek who did well to finish fifth.

He won two excellent fights and then was edged out by two former world champions.

Gosport’s Ronda Crampton-Reid made it a medal double for the club.

She secured a silver medal after winning her first fight, losing her second, and triumphing in her third.