Local woman hopes Judo gets her to 2016 Olympics

Posted at: 08/01/2012 10:47 PM
Updated at: 08/01/2012 10:56 PM
By: Elaine Houston

We've told you about the two local male athletes competing in Judo in London, but there are American woman too.

A woman has medaled in the sport there. In fact, more women are not only getting into the sport but a local woman is hoping to make it to the next Olympics.

You won't hurt Hannah Martin’s feelings if you're shocked to

See a woman with her kind of power.

The Burnt Hills woman is used to it. She even had to convince her dad, that like her brother she too, should take Judo.

“I was like ‘I wanna try”’ and then he’s like ‘I don’t think you’re tough enough to try it,” so he brought me to Judo with my brother. I ended up loving it. My brother quit, and I ended up staying in,” says Martin.

That was 16 years ago. Now at 24, she's training for the 2016 Olympics she missed making the 2012, team.

“They take the Top 14 women, and top 22 men for the Olympic qualifications, and I’m ranked number 35. So it’s like I’m close but not close enough,” she says.

“It’s so bittersweet…I see my teammates there…I know how much they train to get there,” she says.

Throughout the years, she's trained hard and has had to make adjustments in her weight class.
“I used to have to lose 15 to 20 pounds every competition…I was pretty much a zombie, just cutting weight and even proper dieting wasn’t helping anymore, so I had to move up,” she says.

The sport of Judo has been dominated by men but now more and more women are taking to the mat for a variety of reasons.

“It’s more or less a self-confidence type of builder, but also if a women, or anyone gets into a situation, they can defend themselves without thinking too much,” says Jason Kinsey of the Legion Training Center.

But for Hannah, there’s only one thing on her mind.

“My goal is to be in the top ten, within the next two years. It’s going to happen. I’m definitely going to make the 2016 Olympic Team. I’m prepared. I’m on the right road,” she says.

Hannah trains at the Jason Morris Studio, alongside of the local male athletes competing in Judo in this year's Olympics.