Bekky Livesey celebrated her call-up to the 2017 European Judo Championships with a bronze medal at the Antalya Grand Prix on Friday 7 April.

The St Helens judoka was fighting in her second competition since returning from a knee injury and looked in form early on as she saw off home fighter Buket Mercan (TUR) by waza-ari. She followed that up by beating higher-ranked Kazakh judoka Sevara Nishanbayeva, again by waza-ari.

That contest saw a contrast in styles with Livesey looking to bring her strong standing judo game to the fore while Nishanbayeva looked to take advantage in newaza on every occasion. With less than fifteen seconds to go Livesey put in one final attack and picked up the decisive waza-ari score and secured her spot in the semi-finals.

2016 European bronze medallist Timna Nelson Levy (ISR) was next up and despite being ranked World No.23 it was the Israeli who found herself under pressure. Livesey had the edge on attack throughout but was not able to force the score.

The contest went into golden score and despite being the more dominant fighter Livesey went in level with Nelson Levy. The British judoka went in for the first attack but was countered by the Israeli for waza-ari and dropped into the bronze medal match.

Krygyzstan’s Kseniia Beldiagina was her opponent in the medal contest and the British judoka took a bit of time to get into the fight. However after the first minute she was in control and with little over 90 seconds to go pulled off a big throw for waza-ari.

The British judoka was in complete control from then on as Beldiagina tried to force the issue but Livesey saw out the contest to win her second Grand Prix medal, after winning bronze in Zagreb last year.

Speaking afterwards Livesey said: “My performance was to the best of my ability as I felt rusty and slow with it being my second competition back, but really pleased I managed to get a medal.

“Returning from injury is really hard because you doubt yourself, thinking you’re not as good as you were but it’s really great to be back and back on the podium. It was great to have Matt Purssey in my chair today, he really helped me get through the day.”

Saturday will see Lubjana Piovesana (-63kg), Amy Livesey (-63kg), Gemma Howell (-70kg) and Ebony Drysdale-Daley (-70kg) in action with competition starting at 0900 UK time with live coverage via Follow @BritishJudo on Twitter for live updates on the GB judoka throughout the day.

Kelly Staddon (-48kg) was also in action but couldn’t get past Turkey’s Gulkader Senturk as she was thrown for waza-ari and then forced to tap out via juji-gatame.