Northern Ireland judoka Sarah Hawkes misses out on Commonwealth bronze medal

·2-min read
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: Sydnee Andrews (blue) of Team New Zealand celebrates after defeating Sarah Hawkes (white) of Northern Ireland during Women's Judo +78 kg Contest for Bronze Medal match on day six of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Coventry Stadium on August 03, 2022 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
COVENTRY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 03: Sydnee Andrews (blue) of Team New Zealand celebrates after defeating Sarah Hawkes (white) of Northern Ireland during Women's Judo +78 kg Contest for Bronze Medal match on day six of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Coventry Stadium on August 03, 2022 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

By James Reid

Northern Ireland judoka Sarah Hawkes hailed the opportunity to represent her country, despite missing out on a Commonwealth bronze medal.

Hawkes was beaten by New Zealand’s Sydnee Andrews by ippon just under a minute and 30 seconds into the fight to miss out on a medal.

But the Surrey-based fighter reflected that her greatest honour was to fight for Northern Ireland, a rare privilege.

“The special thing about it for me is getting to represent Northern Ireland, which I don’t usually get to do,” said Hawkes.

“The Games is special as you’re in the athlete environment 24/7, all events going on and it’s just a great environment to be in.

“As nice as it would have been to have got a medal, I’m just so pleased to be at the Commonwealth Games in front of this crowd.”

Hawkes was eventually well-beaten by Andrews, with whom she trains in Surrey, but admitted there was little in the contest.

“It was a close fight. It’s quite difficult as she’s my training partner as well, so we both know each other quite well,” said Hawkes, who is a corporal in the British Army.

“The thing with sport, is all you can do is give your best – no one can predict what will actually happen on the day.”

Hawkes was willed on by a vocal crowd who created an electric atmosphere in Coventry.

And the 32-year-old judoka was full of praise for the support she received while on the mat.

“It’s an amazing feeling, there’s nothing else like it in the world,” added Hawkes.

“It’s a mixture of emotions whenever you step out there, there’s the pressure with the lights, the crowd but it’s also nice to have the home crowd cheering you on.”

It sealed an agonising few days for Northern Irish judokas, as Eoin Fleming, Rachael Hawkes, and Joshua Green all also narrowly missed out on bronze medals at the 2022 Birmingham Games.

National Lottery players raise more than £30million a week for good causes including vital funding into sport – from grassroots to elite. Find out how your numbers make amazing happen at: www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtag: #TNLAthletes.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting