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Sally Conway searches for perfect mat finish

SALLY CONWAY is hoping meticulous planning will ensure she is not heading for a fall at this month's Commonwealth Games.

Sally Conway has risen to a career-high ranking. Picture: Alistair Devine
Sally Conway has risen to a career-high ranking. Picture: Alistair Devine

The Edinburgh judoka, who has risen to a career-high No.5 in the world at Under-70kg, is training with Japanese number Haruka Tachimoto at Ratho this week.

Last month, she attended an Olympic training camp in Minsk where she tested herself against opponents that she regularly encounters in competitions. With the aid of funding from the National Lottery, she has been all over the world in recent months in the name of chasing major medal success.

There is no substitute for competition but Conway also takes a lot from training camps. "In Minsk, I managed to work on a lot of things I needed to," she outlined, "You get to know the girls in your weight category pretty well. All of them have different styles, so you are always having to learn and adapt and work out what you have to do if you're going to beat them.

"It's great to get on the mat with them now and again to see if they have been working on something different; you are always learning.

"We were at the Olympic centre in Minsk. Where we were was perfect but the rooms weren't really what we were used to. You just have to deal with what is put in front of you and that makes you stronger at the end of the day."

Conway has just one more competition before the Games - a trip to Siberia for the Russian Grand Slam on July 12-13, where her elevated world ranking ensures she will be seeded.

Conway not only has to plan for the Commonwealth Games but also for the World Championships later in the year and, in the distance, Rio 2016.

"It's always in the back of your head that you have a big event coming up and if you get a major injury then it would be impossible to compete," she admitted. "But when you're training and competing, you can't dwell too much on that - all you can focus on is giving your best performance."

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