It was bronze success all round this weekend as Great Britain’s judoka brought home five medals from Spain and Austria, boosting their world ranking as the first contest of the Olympic cycle begins.
Nekoda Davis, Gary Hall and Megan Fletcher all took bronze medals in Madrid while Lulu Piovesana and Katie-Jemima Yeats Brown boosted the medal tally with more bronze silverware in Leibniz.
The ladies led the way at the European Cup for Juniors in Leibnitz as both -63kg girls took bronze.
Yeats Brown (-63kg) had a tough pool with seven fights. She started strongly with a hat-trick of ippons in the first three rounds and then she lost the fourth round and bounced back in the repechage with another ippon. This set her up for a bronze medal match against Lizzy Gervers which she won by ippon.
Piovesana started with an ippon against a Serbian and edged through to the second round on penalties. She also bounced back in repechage with an ippon and won the bronze contest on penalties against home judoka Michaela Polleres.
Over in Spain, Nekoda Davis and Megan Fletcher (-70kg) also boosted the GB medal tally on the women’s side.
Davis started strong with an ippon against Lehikoinen Satu of Finland and edged through the next two rounds on penalties, beating the Olympic silver medallist Corina Oana Caprioriu and Ying Zhou of China.
However, her luck briefly ran out when she met Helene Receveaux of France, but she bounced back in the bronze medal match against Team GB team-mate Connie Ramsay.
Fletcher executed an ippon against Sebastian Tomas Andrea of Spain, but was then briefly defeated by Giulia Cantoni of Italy and then came back in the repechage against Karine Berger of France to step up onto the rostrum.
Gary Hall scored four ippons against Nicolas Brisson of France, Milan Randl of Slovakia and Patryk Ciechomski of Poland and Axyl Clerget of France, but his third round defeat by Alexander Roslyakov of Russia denied him a higher accolade..
Women’s lead coach Kate Howey said: “It is good to see some strong performances from Nekoda and Megan in Spain and of course Gary. All these results will count towards qualification for Rio (50 per cent this year and 100 percent for next year). Of course it is also great preparation for the players for the Commonwealths.”