BELFAST’S LISA KEARNEY has been pitted against Shugen Wu of China when she opens her Olympic judo campaign in London.
The 23-year-old is due on the mat shortly after 9.30am on Saturday morning for her bout against Wu, the current world number nine.
This morning’s draw was a kind one for Kearney, ranked 19th, who had expected to face one of the 48kg division’s seeded fighters in her preliminary bout.
Instead she was given a bye into the last 16 round, leaving her just two wins away from a place in the semi-finals.
Wu, 24, competed on home soil in Beijing four years ago but lost her first fight and eventually crashed out in the quarter-finals of the repechage.
A win for Kearney could see her meet either the world number three Sarah Menezes of Brazil or world number 12 Laetitia Payet of France in the next round.
Beijing gold medallist and eight-time European champion Alina Dumitru of Romania opens her Olympic defence in the last 16 round against either Dayaris Mestre Alvarez of Cuba or Nataliya Kondratyeva of Russia.