Stroud Judo star Harry Lovell-Hewitt is eyeing the Olympics after bagging Commonwealth Games Bronze.
Three times a national champion, Lovell-Hewitt now has his mind firmly set on qualification for the next Olympic Games in Paris 2024 after the 24-year-old became the first Stroud man to medal since marathon runner Dan Robinson claimed Commonwealth Games bronze in Melbourne back in 2006.
The former Archway student, who was nurtured by Stroud Judo Club coach Rich Neale, was roared on by a vociferous crowd inside the Coventry Arena as he beat Australian Kayhan Ozcicek-Takagi with an ippon just 20 seconds from time.
Still basking in his medal triumph, Lovell-Hewitt said of his bronze in Coventry: “It felt amazing walking out to the crowd with that noise, I’ve never really done an event with that sort of noise and a home crowd, not to this extent.
“Other British ones, it’s not quite the same, but an international one with everyone cheering for the home nation, it’s amazing.”
Earlier, Lovell-Hewitt was up against Ghana’s Victor Ahiavor in his first-round contest which he had no trouble winning. In the quarter-final, he went toe-to-toe with India’s Deepak Deswal where he controlled and won the fight after Deswal was handed three shidos. In the semi-final, despite a brave showing he lost to Canadian Shady Elnahas.
Connor Elliott, Lovell-Hewitt’s best friend said: “It felt amazing to see him in action and of course his medal.
“He deserves this, especially after all these years of hard work and coming back from a few injuries, was awesome.
“It was great to see all the support from the crowd, the place was on fire, and it was brilliant to see all his family, girlfriend, and close mates in the arena, cheering him on.”