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Renicks sisters want women to follow their lead ahead of Glasgow return

Kimberley and Louise Renicks savoured the limelight at the Commonwealth Games and it has whetted their appetite for the European Open at Glasgow's Emirates Arena on October 4.

Kimberley Renicks, left, and her sister Louise, each won gold on the opening day at Glasgow 2014. Picture: Jeff Holmes
Kimberley Renicks, left, and her sister Louise, each won gold on the opening day at Glasgow 2014. Picture: Jeff Holmes

The gold-winning Coatbridge sisters will return to the city seeking ranking points towards competing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

The event will feature many of the medallists from Glasgow 2014, such as Scotland's heavyweight champion Sarah Adlington and English gold medallists Nekoda Davis, Megan Fletcher and Natalie Powell.

Kimberley, 26, won the Commonwealth under-48kg title - Scotland's first gold medal of the Games - last month, less than an hour before Louise, 31, added gold at under-52kg. The training partners admit they have been overwhelmed by the reaction to their success but the aim for both now is to break into the top 16 in the world by accruing ranking points around the globe. Kimberley is currently ranked 39 and Louise 32.

"At the Games we didn't expect the crowd to be so loud," Louise recalled. "You could really feel the buzz and the happiness of the Games - it was like a rugby game, quite an overwhelming experience. We didn't count on the response, because we have been doing judo together for so long."

Since the Games, the sisters have not only enjoyed random encounters with their new fanbase but have been approached to make formal appearances. "I've been asked to promote judo in clubs and schools for all ages," Louise said. "I believe that to get more young women into judo we need to have taster sessions for ladies on a recreational level.

"We need more women to be role models for the sport. You really can do it all, if you plan it all."

Kimberley added: "I was not expecting it to be in the papers and get all the publicity. It was really good exposure for the sport."

For information on the European Open visit www.glasgowopenjudo.com

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