Chelsie Giles (-52kg) was the stand out performer on day 1 of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam winning bronze.
Giles the current European Championship bronze medallist and bronze medallist from the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam had an opening round bye before defeating former World Cadet Champion Diyora Keldiyorova (UZB), Urantsetseg Munkhbat (MGL) who is the World Championship bronze medallist at -48kg and Luz Olvera (MEX) to win her Pool and progress to the semi-finals to face Olympic and European Champion Majlin Kelmendi (KOS). In a closely contested match it was the experience of the Kosovan that saw her score a waza-ari with a Ko-uchi-gari to progress to the final and relegate Giles to the bronze medal match where she faced Tetiana Levytska-Shukvani (GEO).
Giles was the aggressor in all of her matches up to the bronze medal match and was in similar mood facing the Georgian. Giles scored waz-ari by countering her opponents attack to claim the bronze, her second at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in two years.
Elsewhere Ashley McKenzie (-60kg) was also in action. Following a bye in the opening round he defeated Issam Bassou (MAR) in the second round before being narrowly defeated in the third round by Ariunbold Enkhataivan (MGL).
Tomorrow is a busy day for British Judo with five athletes in action.
Eric Ham (-73kg) will be looking to improve on the two 7th place finishes he achieved at the Montreal and Zagreb Grand Prix’s earlier this year. Abu Dhabi will be Ham’s second Grand Slam appearance after he made his debut at the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam last year. Ham will face Frigyes Szabo (HUN) in the opening round.
Stuart McWatt (-81kg), who recently took bronze at the Luxembourg European Open, will face Timo Cavelius (GER) in the opening round.
2018 European U23 Champion, Lubjana Piovesana (-63kg), who recently topped the podium at the Tallinn European Open, has a bye in the opening round, but has a tough second round match against top seed and world number 3 Tina Trstenjak (SLO).
Budapest and Budapest Grand Prix gold medallist Gemma Howell (-70kg) has two Grand Slam bronze medals to her name from Baku and Brasilia this year. She has been drawn against Barbara Matic (CRO) in the opening round.
World Championship bronze medallist Sally Conway (-70kg) has been drawn top of Pool D, in her first competition post Tokyo. She has an opening round bye and will face the winner of the opening round match between Onix Cortes Aldama (CUB) and Ayuk-Otay Arrey-Sophina (CMR).
The start time in Abu Dhabi on Friday is 6:00am GMT with Final block due to start at 2:00pm.