A dejected Craig Fallon is considering his future in the sport after missing out on a bronze medal in the men’s 60kg judo event in Beijing.
The Wolverhampton 25-year-old was singled out before the Games as potentially being Great Britain’s first medal winner in the Chinese capital. However, an unexpected second-round defeat to reigning European champion Austrian Ludwig Paischer – the eventual silver medallist – put an under-par Fallon into the repechage.
Although he recovered with back-to-back victories, his first defeat to Israeli Gal Yekutiel in four meetings dumped him out of the competition in seventh place.
It was not how the 2005 world and 2006 European champion wanted to bow out after his shock exit in round two in Athens four years ago – when he did not even have the repechage to fall back on.
And after admitting he felt off-key all day Fallon questioned whether he wanted to carry on until the London 2012 Games.
“Every four years this comes around. It is all right to go to the worlds and the Europeans – even if you lose another one is one year or two years around the corner,” said Fallon.
“This is once every four years and to say I’ll never get an Olympic medal is disappointing. Maybe if I go on to London you never know. If I don’t feel like I can do well I’d rather step back and let someone else coming through take the position.”
Fallon’s Olympics began with a victory by ippon after throwing Monaco’s Yann Siccardi on to his back with 53 seconds remaining of their five-minute clash.
Defeat to Paischer was a significant setback but Fallon responded by beating Moroccan Younes Ahmadi by yuko and just 59 seconds into his clash with Jin Kyong Kim he dumped the North Korean on the floor to reach the repechage B final.