Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Rio 2016 Olympic Games medallist Sally Conway has today announced her retirement from Judo after a 26 year career.
Ending her career as an Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth Games medallist, Sally’s record at major championships was outstanding. Having shown early promise with a silver medal at the World Junior Championships in 2006 and a bronze at the European U23 Championships a year later, it was at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games that Sally took her first senior championship medal. Part of an incredible 13 medal haul from 14 Scottish judoka at these Games, Sally took bronze in the 70kg event.
Already with Olympic experience from London 2012, Sally made history at Rio 2016, winning bronze to become Scotland’s first Olympic Judo medallist. Two years later she took silver at the European Championships in Tel Aviv before completing her collection of major championships medals with bronze at the 2019 World Championships in Tokyo.
Alongside her championship medals she took a host of medals at World Cup, Grand Prix and Grand Slam events with highlights including becoming the first British winner in 15 years at the Paris Grand Slam as she defeated World No.1 Chizuru Arai for gold in 2018.
Announcing her retirement Sally said: “I always said to myself ‘I will know when the times comes, and I am ready to stop’ regardless of results and performances.
“I think had Tokyo 2020 gone ahead as planned last year, I 100% would have competed. The last year has given me a lot time to take a step back and reflect on the future and some may question the timing with Tokyo less than 6 months away, but in my heart I feel like now is the right time to take that step back. I am so happy with what I have achieved within the sport and how my career has gone that I feel that is it for me now and I’m ready to close this chapter and see what the future holds.
“Judo has enabled me to make some great friends from all around the world, I will miss seeing them all as there were times that I was spending more time with my judo family than my actual family!”
“Going forward I am keeping my options open. I would like to try coaching and pass on my experience to young athletes coming through. I also plan to do sports massage, and I also enjoy public speaking. I am just going to see what opportunities arise and see what I enjoy doing, I am really looking forward to seeing what the future holds. I have learnt so much through judo and being an elite athlete that I know I have a good foundation on which to build upon in the future.”