Express & Star

Injured Lucy Renshall will cheer on judoka pals

Her quest for Commonwealth Games gold has been dashed by injury – but judoka Lucy Renshall will still be on hand to support Team England.


The 26-year-old, who lives in Walsall while being based at the British Judo Centre of Excellence in the town, was due to head to Birmingham as world No.1 in the -63kg weight class.

A shoulder tear that required surgery means she will no longer compete. However, Renshall plans to be back before the end of the year and working towards reaching the 2024 Paris Olympics.

And before then, she will be cheering on her England team-mates at the Coventry Arena.

"Injuries kind of come with the job. They are accepted and you can't stop them from happening," said Renshall, who used to work part-time in the St Matthews Hall pub in Walsall.

"In 2019, I hurt my shoulder. There was a little tear in it, but only small, so we could deal with it through rehab.

"The team at British Judo were really good with helping me manage it.

"It worked out good, but when I hurt it this time, it was a little bit different.

"I think I knew deep down it was something bad when I was waiting for the scan. I felt like it was more than just a little twinge or niggle.

"Before I'd got the scan results and knew I needed surgery to fix it, I'd already told myself 'this could be bad news'.

"The tear I had before, say on a clock, was from 10 till 12. This time around, it was from 12 till 5, so it was quite big and definitely needed to get fixed.

"It's part of the sport and there's no good time to be injured, but I've still got a long way to go until the Paris Olympics, and that's the ultimate goal.

"If there was a good time, although obviously there isn't, it would be around this time."

While disappointed she is unable to fight at Birmingham 2022, Renshall plans to help out with taster sessions for youngsters interested in taking up the sport and meet fans going to the judo.

"I'm actually going to do some work there, doing taster sessions for younger people to practice some judo and meeting some of the spectators," said Renshall.

"Of course, I can't fight now, but I'll still be there supporting the team.

"Even though I'm not fighting, I don't want to miss out on a home Games. It'll still be nice to be there."

Having had surgery a couple of weeks ago, Renshall is now doing rehab work on her shoulder before returning to the mat in the autumn.

"I have a goal to come back about late October time," she said.

"It's not too long at all. I've had much longer injuries before, so I'm grateful it's only around three months.

"There's competitions in October and November, two big Grand Slams that I'm hoping to compete in.

"The World Masters are at the end of December as well, so that's the goal for this year, to go and compete at the standard and level I was before the injury."

Renshall added: "I couldn't ask for much more as I got into surgery really quickly.

"Post-surgery, I've been doing a lot of rehab and have lots of people checking in on me.

"Everyone has been really supportive and so amazing. It's nice to know you've got people, that support system, around you to help."