University of Chichester alumnus overcomes disappointment to claim bronze at London 2012 Paralympic Games
30 August 2012
Recent University of Chichester Masters student and world number one judoka, Ben Quilter fought back from an opening bout defeat to claim a bronze medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
After recovering from serious injury to compete in London - Quilter snapped two knee ligaments just seven weeks before the Games - the reigning European and World -60kg champion then had to bounce back again after losing his quarter-final contest to defending Paralympic champion Mouloud Noura from Algeria.
But that’s exactly what he did, beating Mongolia’s Munkhbat Aajimin and the USA’s Ronald Hawthorne in the repechage before defeating Takaaki Hirai in the bronze medal bout with a successful 25-second Kurure-tate-shiho-gatame hold.
Afterwards, Quilter, who has just this month completed a Sport and Exercise Masters degree, admitted that he had found it hard to triumph after overcoming his injury and his shock early defeat.
He said: “(Due to the injury) There was a massive question mark over whether I’d even be here. So to be here and to win bronze is fantastic.
“I think coming into today I kidded myself a little bit that I could still perform to my best. I was far from my best but I had enough. I’m just really pleased to have won a medal.”
He admitted: “This morning (after the first match) I wanted to go home and I happily would have done. It was such a long journey back from that.
“I don’t know how I got up for the Mongolian. I think the crowd helped massively. When the chips are down it’s easy to give up and think ‘it’s not my day’ – it was really, really tough to drag myself back from that, I’m not going to lie.
“But the crowd were fantastic and I didn’t want to let anyone down, especially myself.”
And he added: “It was amazing. The support was out of this world. I wouldn’t be here for a minute without it. It is phenomenal - every single person in this building cheering and chanting has got me here and kept me going.
“I’m absolutely overjoyed to have won it in front of my home crowd.”
University of Chichester tweeted: "Well done from everyone at @chiuni to @benquilterjudo on his bronze medal - a fantastic achievement!"
Join the 2419 followers of @PodiumFor2012
"@katyjgriffiths: we just met your bro!literally so excited right now!!! " haha so it was you guys that rang!
Thanks @TheDanWhiston for stitching me up once again!