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ARU student is Britain’s number one judoka

Published: 2 February 2023 at 14:00

Lucy Williams

Lucy Williams moves to the top of official rankings after a string of successes

An Anglia Ruskin University student has risen to number one in British Judo’s official ranking list in her category following a string of notable successes.

Lucy Williams, who studies Sport and Exercise Therapy at ARU, competes in the over 78kg category and has started the year as the number one judoka, according to official British Judo rankings.

Lucy is originally from Hampshire and first took an interest in judo at the age of nine, when she joined a class with some of her friends from school. She was quickly noticed for her talent, and after competing for several years at youth level, she joined Anglia Ruskin University and its High Performance Sport programme in 2019, which allowed her to tackle her studies while also being allowed time to compete in her sport, working with ARU’s judo coach Katrina McDonald.

Since beginning her studies at ARU, 21-year-old Lucy has competed twice at the British Universities and Colleges Sports championships, winning two individual bronzes, a team bronze and a team silver. Last year, Lucy represented ARU at the European Universities Games in Łódź, Poland, with ARU’s coach, Katrina, also being selected as the British University coach. Lucy fought valiantly in the bronze medal contest, gaining 5th place. 

Lucy’s recent achievements include a second consecutive silver medal in the British Championships at the end of last year, adding to her gold medals taken at the English, Welsh and London Area Open competitions. These combined results facilitated her selection to her first Senior European Team Championships. Lucy said:

“I’m extremely proud to be ranked number one in Britain, it has taken a long time, a lot of hard work and a lot of support from my coach, Katrina McDonald.

“My next plan is to make my debut more widely on the European stage and compete in European opens this year.”

Katrina, Senior Lecturer in Sports Coaching at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said:

“Lucy is a joy to work with, she manages her studies and training schedule and is well supported by the staff in Sport and Exercise Sciences. She works hard and has developed in all areas, on and off the mat, balancing her placement year with training.”

Lucy is set to graduate from her course in the summer, and plans to continue her studies at ARU with a MSc in Physiotherapy.