Lisa Kearney clinches place at London 2012 Olympics

Lisa Kearney
Lisa Kearney

Belfast judo competitor Lisa Kearney has secured her place at this summer's Olympic Games in London.

Kearney maintained her top 14 spot in the Olympic qualification table after the final ranking event in Siberia.

The 22-year-old, who has been plagued by injury during her career, will become the first woman to compete for Ireland in Olympic judo.

Kearney is coached by two-time Olympian Ciaran Ward and has only recently returned to action after a knee injury.

The injury forced her to miss four qualifying events in the lead-up to this summer's Games.

Kearney was fifth in the World Cup event in Sofia earlier this year.

A statement from the Irish Judo Association commended Kearney for her "outstanding performances over the last two years".

"The Board of the Irish Judo Association would like to congratulate Lisa Kearney on her achievement of earning an automatic qualifying place at the London 2012 games.

"Following a long and tough qualification process, Lisa and her coach Ciaran Ward have been duly rewarded with an Olympic place this summer.

"The Board have been wholly supportive of Lisa's campaign and are delighted that such a wonderful ambassador for the sport of judo has achieved her Olympic dream," read the statement.