Back to back bronze medals for Gibbons in Asia

Gemma Gibbons took a second bronze medal in consecutive Grand Prix competitions on the Asia tour today (28 November). On the final day of the final Grand Prix of the year, Gibbons capped off a successful trip for Great Britain, totaling four medals including a gold, silver and two bronze.

Gibbons’ bronze today caps a strong run of form at Grand Prix level, with four medals from the last four Grand Prix competitions starting with gold in July at the Ulaanbaatar Grand Prix.

It was a strong performance from Gibbons today, who started the day by defeating Tiara Artha Garthia (INA). Scoring yuko twice before taking the contest by ippon, Gibbons was then to face Croatian, Ivana Maranic in the second round.

Gibbons again took the contest by ippon and moved on to the quarter-final to face Marta Tort Merino (ESP). In a tough contest that went the full four minutes, it was Gibbons who claimed the win with a yuko score.

Moving into the semi-final, it was another face off between Gibbons and reigning Olympic champion Kayla Harrison (USA). Gibbons and Harrison had met twice already this year, with Harrison coming out on top in both meetings, but it wasn’t to be third time lucky for Gibbons who was defeated by ippon.

This set up a bronze medal contest between Gibbons and Guusje Steenhuis (NED). The Dutch judoka has been in good form this year with two Grand Slam titles to her name. However, Gibbons came out on top, seeing off any attacks from Steenhuis and taking the contest by a penalty.

Speaking on the result, Gibbons said: “I’m really pleased to get another Grand Prix medal, especially after medalling last weekend. I was really pleased with the bronze match as I have never beaten the Dutch girl before.”

Elite Performance Coach, Jean Paul-Bell, added: “Really good medal today from Gemma, physically out fought the Dutch player and was tactically spot on. It’s really good to see that the patterns she has been working hard on paying off.

“Overall it had been a really strong start to the Asia tour, 4 medals, a 5th place and some really strong performances from all of the athletes across the board.”

Andy Burns (-90kg), Frazer Chamberlain (-90kg), Philip Awiti-Alcaraz (-100kg) and Sarah Adlington (+78kg) were also in action today but missed out on final block action.

There were contest wins for Chamberlain (-90kg) and Adlington (+78kg) who defeated Karolis Bauza (LTU) and Da-Eun Park (KOR) respectively.

British judoka will next be in action at the Tokyo Grand Slam, the final competition on the international circuit of the year.

Follow live with @BritishJudo on twitter – #WeAreGBJudo