Lisa Kearney: Commonwealth Games bronze medallist announces retirement

Lisa Kearney competed in the 2012 Olympic Games in London
Lisa Kearney won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

Commonwealth Games medallist Lisa Kearney has announced her retirement from judo.

Kearney won bronze in the 52kg division at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow two years after representing Ireland at the London Olympics.

However, the west Belfast woman's hopes of a second Olympic appearance in Rio were dashed after she sustained a serious knee injury in 2015.

"The past 20 years have been an incredible journey," said Kearney.

"It is with a mixture of sadness and joy that I have made the decision to officially retire from sport," added the 28-year-old, who became Ireland's first female judoka to qualify for an Olympic Games.

"The support I received allowed me to represent my country on the world stage and together we overcame many obstacles along the way.

"I want to say the most genuine thank you to every single person who supported me and made this journey possible."

Kearney paid tribute to her "world-class coach Ciaran Ward who was with me every step of the way".

A statement from the Irish Judo Association praised Kearney's commitment to her sport.

"We will be forever grateful to her for her wonderful dedication to the sport she has loved since she was a child," said the statement.

The five-time Irish champion also won 11 World Cup medals during her career including four gold.

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