London 2012: Sarah Menezes's journey to Olympic judo gold

Sarah Menezes, Brazilian Olympic judo champion
Sarah Menezes, Brazilian Olympic judo champion

LATEST NEWS - 2012

Sat 28 Jul 12: Brazil's 22-year-old judo fighter

Sarah dethroned reigning Olympic champion Alina Dumitru of Romania in the final of the -48kg category to become the first of just three Brazilian gold medallists. The success came as a bit of a surprise to her.

"I'm too young to get this medal as a 22-year-old. I still have two possible Olympics to go," she told reporters. "I also thank the people that helped me a lot to get where I am now."

Sarah Menezes arrives at Heathrow airport
Sarah Menezes arrives at Heathrow airport

Tue 17 Jul 12: Sarah Menezes has arrived in London for the Olympic Games.

Sat 26 May 12: Sarah Menezes won gold at the Moscow Grand Slam.

She defeated Romania's former Olympic champion Alina Dumitru in the final with a waza-ari and a yuko.

Tue 01 May 12: Sarah has secured her spot at the London Games by finishing third in the Olympic qualification rankings.

Mon 27 Feb 12: Whilst talking to the BBC,

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Sarah Menezes

"In the beginning my parents didn't accept it. I was very young and they said I had to study and be more ambitious, think of a career for my future," recalls Sarah.

Ironically, that little girl who would sneak out to practice after school without telling her parents now has the chance of being the first woman to win Brazil a gold medal.

Sun 05 Feb 12: Sarah claimed silver at the Paris Grand Slam after losing to Japan's Tomoko Fukumi in the final of the under 48kg class. She is now ranked third in the Olympic qualification table.

LATEST NEWS - 2011

Sat 29 Oct 11: Sarah was unable to better the bronze medal she won at the 2009 Pan American Games - she lost to Cuba's Dayaris Mestre to finish third at the Games being taken place in Mexico.

Tue 23 Aug 11: At the World Championships in Paris, Sarah won bronze after losing to Haruna Asami at the semi-final stage.

Sun 19 Jun 11: Sarah won silver at the Rio de Janiero Grand Slam. She was once again beaten by Japan's Haruna Asami.

Sat 05 Feb 11: It is another bronze for Sarah as she finished third at the Paris Grand Slam. She was defeated by the Japanese world champion Haruna Asami by ippon.

LATEST NEWS - 2010

Sat 15 Jan 10: Sarah has won bronze at the World Judo Masters in Baku, Azerbaijan.

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Sarah Menezes on overcoming the fear of her sport

Mon 13 Dec 10: At the Tokyo Grand Slam, Sarah won bronze after losing to Japan's Kaori Kondo in the semi-final.

Sun 12 Sep 10: Sarah has won her first major medal by claiming bronze at the World Judo Championships in Tokyo. The two-time junior world champion defeated Frederique Jossinet in the under 48kg category.