Members of a Sussex judo club were staying just 100 metres from where terror struck in Spain on Friday.
Five men, wearing fake suicide vests, were shot dead by police after a car mowed pedestrians down in Cambrils, in the early hours of Friday morning (August 18).
It came as a second atrocity and terror attack for Spain after 13 people were killed and 80 injured after a van ploughed into pedestrians in Las Ramblas, Barcelona on Thursday afternoon (August 17).
Kin Ryu Judo Club, who train at K2 Crawley, were taking part in a tough five-day training camp with coaching from some of Europe’s top coaches, including former GB 2012 Olympian Winston Gordon and former World and European Champion Craig Fallon.
Coach Lisa Harrison, 36, an occupational therapist, of Southwater Close, Ifield, Crawley, said: “The camp went well and would have been like any other had it not been for the events in the early hours of Friday morning, when the quiet town of Cambrils was shaken by a terrorist attack.
“We were staying only about 100 metres from the marina where the shooting took place and had been eating dinner opposite the scene about an hour earlier.
We were staying only about 100 metres from the marina where the shooting took place and had been eating dinner opposite the scene about an hour earlier.Coach Lisa Harrison
“Fortunately the athletes had been training hard all day and were tired as a result, so all eight of us headed back off the beach and to our
apartments shortly before 11pm.
“There were armed police out on the streets and we assumed this was due to heightened security following the attack in Barcelona the previous day.
“As we were getting ready for bed we heard some screaming outside and a strange noise at the end of the road.
“As the town was quite lively we thought it was people still enjoying their evening. The first we knew was the following morning when I received a text from the camp organisers checking we were all OK and what the plans were for the day.
“We heard that some of the judo coaches had been caught up in the attack and Winston had been injured.”
Lisa said she and coach Claire Bowie, 46, who was also on the trip, brought the athletes together to tell them what had happened but they were ‘determined to continue camp’.
“We were impressed to see that Winston was back on the mat the following morning despite the nights events and that pushed the athletes on even more,” she said.
“It was frightening to think what could have happened but had we stopped training and come home then that was giving in and we were determined not to do that.”
Lisa added that the team were due to go to Las Ramblas in Barcelona yesterday (August 20), but decided it was not a good idea following the attacks.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage
2) Like our Facebook page
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
Always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.