Craig Fallon retires from Judo competition to pursue coaching dream.
by Sean Taylor
Last year when he returned to the sport after a two-year hiatus, the judoka seemed on course for another shot at the Olympic podium. However, his decision to retire has shocked the Judo world as he was on course to represent Great Britain at the games for the third edition in a row.
The 29-year-old moved up one category to compete in the -66kg event at the 2011 British trials last year, in which he came out victorious. One of only three Brits to win the World Championship, he later placed third at the Russian European Cup and won gold at the German European Cup in July 2011.
Olympic gold has avoided this multiple world and European champion. A nation had great hopes for him at his Beijing 2008 campaign after the disappointment that was Athens 2004. However, he was eliminated to the repechage by rival Ludwig Paischer from Austria and eventually placed 7th overall.
The British Judo Association lifetime member started his career at the Wolverhampton Judo club before moving to Hardy Spicer 83 at the age of 14. He moved south when the opportunity came to train at the National Academy at Bisham Abbey.
The 2006 European Champion, well known for his popular seminars around the country said: “I’d like to thank everyone who supported me in my career including my coaches, friends, family and teammates.” The Judo world wishes him all the best in his coaching endeavours.