29th March- 1st April 2007

Police Sport UK Judo Squad have been preparing for this event for almost two years, with the focus of much of the training over the last 6 months being aimed specifically at those selected to represent their country in the Championships.

The team which travelled to Russia were:

A/DCI Andy Moss - Cheshire Constabulary (Delegate and Coach)
Mr Chris Hunt - Home Office (Coach)
PC Matthew Clempner - Greater Manchester Police (Coach)
PC Darren Dean - North Wales Police (Coach)
Mr Lloyd Nicholson – Police Sport UK Physiotherapist

 PC John Ellis - West Midlands - Over 100kg men
 PC Gavin McNeil - Lothian and Borders Police - Under 100kg men
 PC Lee Holley - Devon and Cornwall Police - Under 90kg men  
 PC Jason Moore - Grampian Police - Under 81kg men
PC David Hawkins - Nottinghamshire Police - Under 73kg men
PC Gary Liddle - Surrey Police - Under 66kg men
PC Rachel Wilding - Surrey Police - Under 78kg female - Gold
PC Lauren Slater - West Yorkshire Police - Under 70kg female - Bronze
PC Debbie Read - West Midlands Police - Under 63kg female - 5th
PC Samantha Kelly - Metropolitan Police - Under 57kg female
PC Alison Warner - Metropolitan Police - Under 52kg female -  Bronze

The team were met from Moscow airport and transported to their accommodation, a hotel some 8 miles outside the city centre in a hotel constructed for the 1980 Olympic games, the event was held in the nearby Olympic Weight-lifting hall, at which the facilities were magnificent, and with a 4,000 seat capacity there was enough room for the spectators, teams and invited guests, including many previous World and Olympic Champions.
The standard of judo, was as usual of the highest level, with many World and Olympic competitors present. The male and female lightweights were competing on the first day.
In the men’s events both Jason Moore and David Hawkins had tough draws, with Jason losing to a Russian and David to an Austrian. Gary Liddle, had a tough start losing the Russian who eventually won Silver, but then had an excellent win against a strong Turk, only to lose to an Austrian in the next round, but making him a creditable 7th.
With Samantha Kelly unable to compete, due to illness, it was left to Debbie and Alison to fly the flag on the opening day, Debbie beat the German Doerner in her first fight after "Golden Score" with a referee's decision, she was then beaten by the Ukrainian who went all the way to the final, bringing Debbie back into the repecharge where she lost to the Danish player, but gained a 5th place. Alison Warner took an excellent Bronze medal after strangling the German, Hess in her second fight and ended the day on a high note for the UK team.


The second day of competition saw more medals for the UK Team and more superb performances, with John Ellis winning his first fight against the Icelandic competitor, losing his second to the eventual winner, the Ukranian, he put up strong resistance and gave an excellent account of himself against the strong German Bahr (the winner 4 years ago). Gavin McNeil scored a good win against the tall Danish player , Hansen, before losing to the Russian who was eventually the losing finalist, Gavin, lost a close match in the repecharge against a strong Swedish player, Bisjo. Lee Holley at under 90kg, had a excellent morning, easily defeating a Bulgarian in the second round, losing to a Czech in very close contest, but then going on to beat very strong Spanish player, Rodenas in the repecharge, taking a fine 7th place after losing to the Ukrainian. Lauren Slater at 23 is young enough to continue to improve, and with a fine Bronze medal winning performance, she showed she already has the pedigree to mix it with the best in Europe, she defeated the Austrian, Milenkovic in the first round, this was followed by a controversial loss to the German in the next round, where the coaches and crowd believed the win was stolen from Lauren, by some poor refereeing. However with this behind her, she went into the Bronze medal with determination and was able to throw the Spanish competitor, Gomez with a left sided leg sweep to the elation of the team. In many ways the best was saved to last, with the finals being held in the evenings, Rachel Wilding had already secured her place in the final of the under 78kg category by sweeping aside her opposition that morning with a display of strong and technically brilliant judo. In the final she faced a tall and skilful Ukranian Claudia Teschke, the fight went the full distance, but Rachel was in control from the start and threw her opponent several times and never looked in any danger of losing the coveted Gold. When the National Anthem was played and Rachel was standing on top of the medal rostrum it was a proud moment, not only for her, but for the UK team. This was the first time a UK player had won a gold medal since the event was first held over 50 years ago.  

Due to consistency and excellent performance of all the team, UK were placed 5th out of the 25 countries participating, this is the highest placing ever achieved. The team are to be congratulated on their success, this has been achieved by not only great individual efforts, but by a great team ethic spirit.