Amy Livesey produced a string of impressive performances throughout the day as she brought home GB Judo’s first medal of the Yekaterinberg Grand Slam in Russia today.
A well deserved win in the bronze medal contest against Russian Daria Davydova, ranked 15 places above her in World Rankings at No.13 assured Livesey of the medal. In a tense contest that looked like it was going to go to Golden Score, it was eventually settled by a single waza-ari in Livesey’s favour. The score, which came with just 20 seconds left in the contest, meant that it was the St Helen’s judoka celebrating as the clock reached zero.
Livesey looked assured throughout the day with a number of impressive performances against ranked opponents. Following a bye in the first round, Livesey took on Spaniard Cristina Cabana Perez in the second round. The two had never met in competition previously. Cabana started the better of the two as she cornered Livesey in the mat by as the contest wore on, she was able to get a foothold in the contest. Numerous times she looked for her favoured uchi-mata but it was well blocked. Livesey was able to take a slender lead going into the final seconds and was able to defend it as the clock reached zero and she secured her place in the quarter final.
In her most impressive display of the day, she came up against Russian Diana Dzhigaros, who has several Grand Slam and Grand Prix medals to her name. It was a tentative start from both judoka, but once the first minute of the contest passed, there would only be one winner as Livesey looked dangerous and tried to end the contest on several times. Realising that Dzhigaros was defending well on her feet, she switched tactics and a ground choke ended the contest to secure her passage to the semi finals.
This set up a contest with top seeded Martyna Trajdos from Germany. Trajdos has a Tokyo Grand Slam Gold medal and is the World No.8 and she showed her vast experience as she trapped Livesey on the canvas to secure the ippon victory and drop her into the bronze medal contest.
Amy said after the contest, “I’m really happy with my performance today, I feel like I’m getting stronger with competition after my injury. This win will also push me up higher on the world rankings!”
Coach Kate Howey said “Amy fought well today and was very composed in her approach to each contest. This shows how much depth we have in the -63kgs with Amy picking up a bronze medal in a Grand Slam”
Kelly Edwards suffered a disappointing first round defeat at the hands of Mongolian judoka Gantsetseg Ganbold in the -52kg category. The Mongolian was making her competitive appearance at senior level and looked at ease. Edwards couldn’t find a score throughout regular time as the contest went to Golden Score, but it was the Mongolian that mustered a waza-ari score to end the contest. Edwards can maybe count herself unfortunate with the decision but the referee deemed it enough to be registered.
Tomorrow sees Natalie Powell (-78kg), Max Stewart (-90kg) and Ben Fletcher( (-100kg) take to the mat in search of medals in Russia.
Competition starts at 10:00am local time on Sunday with live coverage via ippon.tv and you can find the full draw at ippon.org. Join the conversation on #JudoRussia2017 and follow @BritishJudo on Twitter for live results updates on the British judoka.
Tweet us your messages of support using #WeAreGBJudo.