The agony and the ecstasy

Amy Meyer (right) pictured with fellow judo medal-winners in the women’s under-48kg category in Glasgow, Scotland. Photo: AP Photo/Frank Augstein

FORMER Emanuel School student Amy Meyer captured a bronze medal for judo last Thursday at Glasgow’s 2014  Commonwealth Games, but there was heartbreak for Olympic hero Steven Solomon, who tore a hamstring in the 400-metre semifinal on Tuesday night.

Competing in the under-48kg category, Meyer, 22, claimed third place alongside compatriot Chloe Rayner. In judo, two bronze medals are awarded in each weight division.

Speaking to The AJN  from Glasgow, Meyer said the gravity of her achievement hadn’t quite sunk in yet.

“Winning a medal feels crazy – it’s a really surreal experience,” she said.

“It was an incredible feeling winning that bronze medal match and having my club (UNSW Judo) coach, Kylie Koenig, mat side for me.

“It’s really rare to have your club coach come with you on a trip this big, so sharing that moment was amazing. I think the best feeling was looking over and seeing her a bit teary and running over and jumping on her.”

The Games didn’t start well for Meyer, who was bested by eventual silver medallist, India’s Shushila Likmabam, in the opening round.Fighting in front of a vocal Australian contingent, she bounced back to defeat Abigail Chindele from Zambia to advance into the medal bout.

Facing off against Barbados’s Onoh Obsai Okey, Meyer and her opponent couldn’t be split at the final bell. It came down to a decision of penalties: Meyer, with two penalties, edging out Okey, who had three, for a place on the podium.

“My parents came all the way over from Australia to watch me fight, so being able to win a bronze in front of them and share this with them is just incredible,” Meyer said.

Earlier this year, Meyer took home bronze at the 2014 Oceania Championships and hopes the Games will be a stepping stone to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Meanwhile, Solomon, who qualified for the semifinal with a time of 46.26 seconds, pulled up lame, grabbing at his hamstring as he rounded the 200m mark.

He limped from the track and, according to reports, has torn the muscle, which is a devastating blow for Solomon and Australia’s chances in the 4x400m relay.

In a statement on his Facebook page, Solomon said: “Sadly, tonight did not play out as it has in my head over the last year. It is a great privilege of mine to be able to represent my country.

Although these Champion ships have been cut short, rest assured that I will be back with an even greater tenacity to succeed.

“I am already putting all my energy into rehabilitation, and I have the best support network in the world assisting me.”

ADAM BLAU