Games bronze is a “dream fulfilled” for Faith

Commonwealth Games judo bronze medallist Faith Pitman
Commonwealth Games judo bronze medallist Faith Pitman

The mother of Todmorden-born Faith Pitman, who has won a bronze medal for judo at the the Commonwealth Games, said it was “a dream fulfilled” for her daughter.

Ruth Pitman and her sister Christine Jackson travelled from the town to be in the audience in Glasgow last Friday evening when 29-year-old Faith beat Australia’s Katharina Haecker to clinch third place in the 63kg section.

In the second of two bronze medal contests at the Scottish Exhibition Conference Centre, Faith attacked from start and got on the scoreboard with the crucial throw 80 seconds from the end.

“It was brilliant,” said Ruth, who saw her daughter head south as a 16-year-old in her bid to reach the top in her chosen sport.

“It is a dream fulfilled for Faith - all the hard work has been rewarded.

“It was just good to be there and support.”

Faith was said to be“absolutely ecstatic” after success in a competition won by Scotland’s Sarah Clark, with Helene Wezeu Dombeu of Cameroon taking the silver.

Faith, who lives in Harlow, indicated that it was the highlight of her career and that she would probably retire.

She told Team England’s official website: “I came here wanting gold but to win a medal is absolutely fantastic.

“I was starting to get a bit worried when all my teammates started doing so well, I was worried about letting them down.

“I was determined that I wouldn’t be going home without something to show for these Games because I’ve worked so hard for this. I’m just pleased to get something and add another tick on our medal table.”

Ruth explained that Faith had left Tod as a 16-year-old after a highly-successful junior career.

She had been allowed to attend the national sports centre at Bisham Abbey near London a year earlier than normal in an effort to get her to the top in judo.

“She now helps run the East Essex Judo Club with her partner Tom Cousins,” Ruth added.

Faith’s aunt, Christine Jackson, said watching Faith fight had been “fantastic but nerve wracking.”

Faith was one of 14 fighters in the England squad and all were making their Commonwealth Games debuts as the sport returned to the Games for the first time since 2002.

Friday turned out to be a special day for them with three golds, a silver and a bronze to add to the one Faith won.