Great Britain’s Samuel Ingram – his country’s most decorated Para judoka - has announced his retirement from judo with immediate effect.
Ingram has represented his country for a number of years since bursting onto the international scene at the 2007 IBSA Judo European Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
In a career that has seen him win multiple major medals, his career highlight came at the London 2012 Paralympic Games where he secured silver in the up to 90kg class, helping Paralympics GB to secure their best medal haul in the sport since 1996. This was after making his Paralympic debut at Beijing 2008 where he claimed bronze, and before he made his third consecutive Games at Rio 2016.
Ingram was inspired to take up judo in his early twenties by his brother Joe, who also competed at London 2012. For several years Ingram has been based at the JudoScotland National Training Centre where he has trained alongside a number of Great Britain’s top Olympic judoka and had access to top quality sparring partners and international standard coaching.
Ingram said: “I take this decision to retire due to a multitude of reasons and even though I am somewhat sad to be finishing my competitive career I feel it is the correct decision for me. Myself and Jodie had a child in February and I have recently secured a full-time position as a Regional Development Officer at JudoScotland.
“Under the circumstances, I feel I have made the correct decision for the long-term security for myself and my family.
“May I take this opportunity to thank the British Judo Association staff for all the hard work they have done for me. I hope I have represented the British Judo Association in a positive light, my time as an athlete has given me some fantastic opportunities and I have very much enjoyed myself.
“I wish you the best of luck going forward.”
In addition to Ingram’s two Paralympic medals, he also has four silver medals from the 2007, 2010, 2015 and 2018 World Championships. Ingram is highly decorated at European Championship level with four medals throughout his illustrious career. He has two gold medals from 2011 and 2013, in addition to two bronze medals in 2009 and 2015.
Ingram is the most decorated athlete on the British Judo Paralympic programme and has been an inspiration for the younger athletes on the team for many years.
British Judo Performance Director, Nigel Donohue, has extended an invitation to Ingram to visit the British Judo Association Centre of Excellence in Walsall, to be presented with a commemorative gift to recognise his contribution to Paralympic judo in Great Britain.
Donohue added: “Sam has been a fantastic judoka for Paralympic judo and British Judo. He has had an outstanding career culminating in competing in three Paralympic Games and winning a bronze and silver medal.
“Additionally, Sam has become an icon in Paralympic Judo and one of the standout judoka’s over the last 10 years. We wish Sam all the very best in his future endeavours and believe in whatever direction Sam takes in his career, he will prove to be a success. British Judo should be extremely proud of Sam as an athlete, a person and also for his achievements in Paralympic Judo.”
Ian Johns, British Judo Paralympic Head Coach said: “Sam has been an outstanding member of the Paralympic team during my time as the lead coach. His past record, very high standards and attitude has helped to develop the team to where it is now. He has helped to teach myself what it means to be an elite performer on the Paralympic stage and for that I thank him. Sam will be missed by the team but he definitely goes down as one of the greatest of all time.”