Bronze for McKenzie in Havana Grand Prix

On day one of the Havana Grand Prix on Friday 6 June, Ashley McKenzie brought home a brilliant bronze medal for Great Britain soon after returning from injury.

It was a great start from McKenzie with a waza-ari from tai-otoshi followed by an ippon from Laats takedown in 21 seconds against Leonardo Merino of Cuba.

This sent him through to quarter final against Brazilian Eric Takabatake which he lost by a waza-ari.

But the Briton soon bounced back to win the repechage final by ippon over Juan Perez and in a strong performance beat Artiom Arshanki of Israel and took the Grand Prix bronze medal with waza-ari and yuko throws.

“Ashley looked sharp and relaxed throughout and I hope that his confidence will keep growing and that this success can keep repeated when he competes at the Hungary Grand Prix later this month,” said Luke Preston, Ashley’s judo coach at Camberly. 

“It was exciting for Ashley that he got to compete in the first ever Grand Prix that Cuba had hosted and he sought out his first Grand Prix after injury hampered him earlier this year. Ashley has a great track record in Pan-America events and on the back of another strong showing at the European Championships we had hoped that he would medal in Havana.”
Watch out for Chris Sherrington on Sunday. Action from around 14:00 BST.

Words by Donna Richardson. Photos IJF.