Concussion rules Edwards out of Olympics

Kelly Edwards (right) in action at the European Games

Kelly Edwards competed at the European Games in 2015

British champion Kelly Edwards said she was “devastated” after learning concussion had ended her Olympic hopes.

The 24-year-old won 2014 Commonwealth Games silver in the -52kg category and was considered a Rio medal prospect.

However, she has been told to take six months away from competition after taking a blow to the head at the Paris Grand Slam earlier this month.

It was her third head injury in seven months after bad landings at events in Mongolia and Uzbekistan in 2015.

“When I was given the advice of the medical team I was devastated,” said Edwards.

“I understand that I do need this time to heal. I have to accept that I will get injuries and this is just another injury.

“I shall come back stronger and better after a six-month block of good training, and will be focused on the 2017 World Championships in Budapest.”

After suffering the initial blow in Mongolia in July, Edwards competed at the World Judo Championships the following month without any of the symptoms of concussion.

They returned after a bad landing during a fight in Uzbekistan in October but Edwards went on to compete in Portugal the following week.

“I knew that if I fought in Portugal I had a big chance of a medal and gaining more Rio qualification points,” she added.

“At that time I just didn’t realise how serious my concussion was.”

Edwards took two months off, returning for an event in Cuba in January and again fought without any concussion symptoms but a further blow to the head in Paris led to the medical team ordering her to take an extended break.

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