7th for Smythe-Davis and Toprak on opening day of Abu Dhabi Grand Slam

The opening day of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam saw Nekoda Smythe-Davis and Acelya Toprak finish in 7th place in the -57kg category.

Smythe-Davis (Club: Ealing JC; Coach: Jo Crowley), who was making her World Tour return following the birth of her daughter, comfortably booked her place in Round 2 following an opening-round victory against Jana Ziegler (GER). Two waza-ari scores seeing Smythe-Davis progress.

A controlled performance in Round 3 saw Smythe-Davis defeat Veronica Toniolo (ITA) to book her place in the Quarter-Finals. Smythe-Davis used her experience against the young Italian to see her pick up a third penalty shido and see Smythe-Davis through to face Qi Cai (CHN).

Unfortunately for Smythe-Davis, she was awarded two shidos early in the Quarter-Final contest and despite forcing the contest to Golden Score, was awarded a third shido meaning she progressed to the Repechage for a chance to fight for bronze.

In the Repechage Smythe-Davis was thrown for an ippon score in the opening exchanges by Ozlem Yildiz (TUR). The defeat saw Smythe-Davis finish in 7th place on her return to the IJF World Tour after 3 years away.

Toprak (Darren Hawney & Fitzroy Davies; Metro Judo Club & Relentless Judo) booked her place in Round 2 with an opening-round victory against 8th seed Vera Zemanova (CZE). Toprak dominated the contest and registered a waza-ari score in Golden Score.

Toprak faced a familiar opponent in Jasmine Martin (RSA) in Round 2. Martin trains alongside Toprak and the GB Judo national team at the British Judo National Training Centre. In Golden Score Martin was awarded a third shido and was defeated, meaning Toprak progressed to the Quarter-Finals.

Toprak faced number 1 seed Eteri Liparteliani (GEO) in the Quarter-Finals. Unfortunately Toprak was awarded a third shido as the contest entered Golden Score meaning she progressed to the Repechage.

In the Repechage, whilst a waza-ari score down in the final minute of the contest, Toprak was awarded a third shido which saw her opponent, Marica Perisic (SRB) progress to the bronze medal contest. Meaning Toprak finished in 7th place.

Michael Fryer (Rush Judo; Laurie Rush) defeated Lennart Slamberger (GER) in the opening round. Fryer went a waza-ari score down at the midway point in the contest but evened the score in the final 30-seconds before some great newaza in the following exchange to force his opponent to concede the contest.



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Fryer was narrowly defeated in Round 2 by Nitin Chauhan (IND). Fryer dominated for much of the contest, but a waza-ari score by Chauhan in the closing stages saw him progress.

Amy Platten (Redbridge JC; Guy Platten) was defeated by Alexandra Pop (ROU) in the opening round of the -48kg competition. A waza-ari score in Golden Score enough to see Pop progress.

Tomorrow sees 6 GB judoka in action:

-63kg: Lucy Renshall (SKK JC; Pete Blood)

-70kg: Kelly Petersen-Pollard (Hardy Spicer 83; Fitzroy Davies) & Jemima Yeats-Brown (Ryecroft; Ian Oliver)

-73kg: Daniel Powell & Eric Ham (Glossop; Geoff Ham)

-81kg: Lachlan Moorhead (Sheffield JC; Matt Moorhead)

Preliminary Round action starts at 08:00am (BST) on Saturday with Final Block scheduled to commence at 14:00.

You can watch all the action from the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam LIVE at live.ijf.org each day.

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