Arsenal fan Jamal Petgrave presented judo gold at the Commonwealth Games for England and then admitted that he would like to parade the medal at Emirates Stadium.
Petgrave went into extra time to produce a “Golden Score” win over Mauritian judoka Remi Feuillet before his thoughts quickly turned to the upcoming Premier League campaign.
“I’m looking forward to the new season and the documentary ‘All or Nothing’,” said Petgrave after his thrilling victory at Coventry Arena in the men’s -90kg division.
“I hope to go to more games and I would like to show the medal at the stadium.”
Petgrave hails from Carshalton in Surrey but was actually competing at home.
The 25-year-old studied sports management at Coventry University and was able to count on the support of his alma mater, family and friends.
He said: “I know everything about this arena and winning my first major championship here is so special.
“I had never fought him before and I had to solve him, his strengths and weaknesses.
“Entering Golden Score I could see him waver. He was getting tired and I had to take the opportunity when it came. “
England again won gold in the women’s -78kg when Emma Reid beat her “idol” Natalie Powell 1-0 to deprive the Welsh judoka of her second Commonwealth title.
Powell – the first British judoka to be ranked number one in the world following the introduction of an official ranking – was defending the title he won at Glasgow 2014 as judo was not on the Gold Coast Games schedule four years ago.
“I hadn’t fought him since I was 16 because we keep missing each other in tournaments as we’re both seeded,” said product Royston Reid, 27, who reacted to elbow surgery. after tearing the ligament from the bone.
“She has always been an idol of mine, someone I have always admired.
“We are on the same level now, but really beating her is fantastic.”
Reid had collected two yellow cards and a third would have meant disaster for his gold medal ambitions.
She said: “I was worried because there was a minute left and it was putting a lot of pressure on you.
“I just had to be strong and defend his hold.”
Scotswoman Sarah Adlington emulated her 2014 win in the women’s +78 category dramatically.
Adlington was 1-0 behind against Indian Tulika Maan before producing a late deciding Ippon.
She said: “I didn’t really realize what I had done in Glasgow and this time I found it more difficult because I knew what it actually meant to be a Commonwealth champion.
“Anything other than gold would have looked like a disaster. It’s just great to win again and create some history for Scottish judo. “
British duo Rhys Thompson and Harry Lovell-Hewitt both entered the match for the -100kg bronze medal.
Rachel Tytler from Scotland also won a women’s bronze of -78 kg.