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Focused Conway keen to convert Glasgow bronze to gold in Russia

Sally Conway has moved on from the Commonwealth Games.

She has had no time for medal parades and, as Lulu and Kylie Minogue were bringing down the curtain at Hampden, the Edinburgh judoka had decamped to Portugal for an intensive training camp.

Conway is now on her next mission. A World Championship medal has been an ambition since she achieved a fifth-place finish at the event five years ago.

Even being drawn in the same pool as Colombia's defending champion Yuri Alvear in Chelyabinsk, Russia, this week has not diminished her intent. A bronze medal at Glasgow 2014 was seen as an under-achievement for a judoka ranked sixth in the world and favourite for gold.

Losing to England's eventual champion Megan Fletcher in the semi-finals of Under-70kg event was difficult to take, the 27 year-old freely admits.

"Obviously, at the time I was really disappointed as I went there to win a gold medal and that didn't happen," she said.

"Looking back now, I'm still a bit disappointed with myself as I still believe I could have won the gold medal that day and it didn't happen. You know you have one more fight to get a bronze and, if you lose it, you end up with nothing at all. There was quite a big break in between first round fights and the final fights and it did take a few hours to get my head back into it.

"I just focused on who my next opponent was and figured out in my head a clear idea of my tactics and how I was going to beat her. Instead of focusing on everything else, I just concentrated on who I had to fight next for the bronze medal. The day could have been a lot worse - I could have come away without a medal - and I had to do it not just for myself but for Team Scotland.

"Without the help of my family, friends and coaches, that would have been very difficult but I managed to pull myself together for that fight and put on a smile on the podium and do the media stuff afterwards.

"It was hard but I'm now in a happier place, a better place, and ready to get back for the World Championships."

Those who witnessed the way she strode into the arena - menacing and focused - ahead of her bronze medal match with India's Sunibala Huidrom, then there could only be one winner.

It is that sort of focus she needs this week with four of the five judokas ranked above her in the world, including the top-ranked Kim Polling from the Netherlands, at the championships.

Having been a favourite in Glasgow, Conway is the underdog in Russia but that could work in her favour.

"It was pretty much straight back into it after the Commonwealth Games," she explained. "We had a couple of days off just to get our heads back into training again. After you compete, you need a bit of time to get yourself back together and then focus on the next task ahead.

"But it was a case of unpacking my Commonwealth bag and then repacking the Great Britain bag ready to go away to a training camp in Portugal.

"I'd love to come away with a world medal as that's something I'd like to achieve in my career. I believe I can do that and why should it not be gold?

"I'm aiming for gold and, if that doesn't happen, silver or bronze I'll happily take."

Conway opens her bid against Italian Jennifer Pitzanti on Friday.

Meanshile, the Edinburgh-based Colin Oates suffered a frustrating day at the World Championships when he lost in the semi-final of his Under-66kg pool to Japan's Kengo Takaichi, winner of the recent Budapest Grand Prix.

The Commonwealth champion had started impressively by beating Korea's Chol Kim and Peru's Jesus Mendoza, both by ippon, in his first two matches.

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