London 2012: Gemma Gibbons ready for Olympics selection battle

Gemma Gibbons

London's Gemma Gibbons knows the European Judo Championships is a make-or-break event in her bid to represent Great Britain at the London Olympics.

The 25-year-old currently trails Sally Conway in the race for the only place in Team GB for the under-70kg category.

The Championships is the final Olympic ranking list points-scoring event before the Games.

She told BBC London 94.9: "It's massive for me. If I do well I should be going to the Olympics. If I don't, I won't."

Gibbons, from Greenwich, is currently ranked 33rd in the world, with Conway three places higher.

The duo have been competing together in GB squads for over a decade.

"We've known each other since we were about 12 and have been on the squads together," Gibbons added.

"It's been up and down between us. One year, I'd be number one and the next year she'd be number one the next year.

"It's been like that throughout our careers.

"We're so close in terms of [ranking] points and medals over the last two years, it's all coming down to this competition. I'll do everything I can to make sure I'm on top after the Europeans."

But Gibbons says that the prospect of missing out on selection is not crossing her mind.

"Obviously my dream is to get to the Olympics and win a medal," she continued.

"We're all doing our best but we know only one person in each weight category can go.

"You need to keep driving and striving to make sure you are the one at the Games.

"If you're not, you've got to deal with it when it comes."

The European Championships begin on Thursday in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

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