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Olympic debut ends in heartbreaking defeat for Fletcher

Austria’s Michaela Polleres was victorious in their women’s 70kg round 32 clash.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MEGAN FLETCHER’S OLYMPIC debut ended in defeat after she was beaten by Austria’s Michaela Polleres in their women’s 70kg round 32 contest in Tokyo on Wednesday morning. 

Fletcher battled bravely for much of the elimination round before losing out in the dying seconds. With fifteen seconds left, they were level until Polleres scored with an Ura nage. 

The 31-year old is only the second woman to represent Ireland in judo at Olympic level, following Lisa Kearney in 2012. A geography teacher by trade, she took a career break to focus on Tokyo.  

“It was always going to be a really hard contest,” said Fletcher afterwards.

“It was a rematch from the bronze medal at the World Championships six weeks ago. For our entire careers, we have been having head-to-head fights. You have to be in the best position that you can, someone has to win, and someone has to lose.

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“It wasn’t meant to be today.

“I have had a great career. I am very proud of myself. It is great for our family to have two Olympians. It was really hard watching Ben in Rio when I didn’t make it myself. I am very proud of him and will cheer him on when he competes next.”

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