7th for Smythe-Davis on opening day of Tbilisi Grand Slam

Nekoda Smythe-Davis (Ealing Judo Club; Jo Crowley) recorded at 7th place finish on the opening day of the Tbilisi Grand Slam in Georgia.

Competing in the -57kg category provided an early upset for the home crowd, after she progressed to round three at the expense of 3rd seed Eteri Liparteliani, following an opening round bye. With both judoka with two penalty shidos each, Liparteliani was awarded a third for stepping out of the contest area.

Smythe-Davis overcame her round three contest against Yamini Mourya (IND). Already a waza-ari score up, Mourya was awarded a handsoku-make, progressing Smythe-Davies to the quarter-finals to face current European U23 Champion, Marica Perisic (SRB). A waza-ari score was enough to see Perisic proceed to the semi-finals whilst Smythe-Davis progressed to the repechage to face current World Champion Rafaela Silva (BRA). As the contest neared Golden Score, Silva countered a Smythe-Davis attack to register an ippon score in the final minute of the contest.

The defeat saw Smythe-Davis finish in 7th place, to match her best Grand Slam result since her return to the tatami.

Lele Nairne (Bradley Stoke; Pete Douglas), who was competing alongside Smythe-Davis in the -57kg category, also defeated a home nation judoka in her opening-round contest. A waza-ari score was enough to see her defeat Nino Tsiklauri before she overcame Vera Zemanova (CZE) in Golden Score to set up a round three contest against world number 1, former World Champion and 2020 Olympic bronze medallist Jessica Klimkait (CAN). Unfortunately for Nairne, following the contest entering Golden Score, she was awarded a third penalty shido, handing victory to Klimkait.

Amy Platten (Redbridge JC; Guy Platten) faced former World Junior champion Hyekyeong Lee (KOR) in the opening round. With the contest seemingly looking destined for Golden Score, Lee registered a throw for waza-ari score in the final 15-seconds of the contest to progress to round two.

Competing in just his second career Grand Slam event, Alex Short (Edinburgh JC; Billy Cusack) had an opening round bye before facing 6th seed Strahinja Buncic (SRB) in round two. A waza-ari score down heading into the closing stages of the contest, Short attacked to register a score, but was countered and thrown for ippon score.

Tomorrow sees five GB judoka in action, with the Preliminary Rounds starting at 6:00am (GMT).

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

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