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Last Updated: Monday, 19 April, 2004, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
Howey takes judo bronze
Kate
Howey won silver at the Olympics in Sydney
Britain's top Olympic medal contenders Kate Howey and Craig Fallon had to settle for bronze at the British Open.

Howey took a share of third in the under 70kg category, while Fallon also managed bronze, despite fighting up a weight at 66kg instead of 60kg.

But Karen Roberts produced the biggest surprise, easing to victory after switching to a heavier weight division.

Elsewhere, Britain's Simone Callendar and Kerry Manfredi took first and second respectively at 78kg.

Although the event did not count towards selection for the Olympics, many of Britain's top medal hopes were in action at Burgess Hill.

For Howey and Fallon, who qualified for Athens at last year's World Championships in Osaka, it was a last chance to compete on home soil before the Games in the summer.

Two times Olympic medallist Howey was unexpectedly countered in her third fight by Marianne Charve of France but came back to win a bronze in the repÍchage with another Frenchwoman Veronique Diebolt.

Howey's weight category was finally won by Roberts, despite having no experience of middleweight competition.

Men's world silver medallist Fallon also switched categories - mainly to sidestep a number of strong opponents who had crossed the English Channel to get the measure of him.

The 21-year-old showed off his exceptional talent in the 66kg division, losing just one of his six fights.

He also announced he will also miss the European championships in Bucharest in May, saying: "I just want to peak once, in Athens."




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