Sally Conway had to settle for 5th on day 2 of the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam. Competing for the first time since winning bronze at the Tokyo World Championships in August, Conway matched her performance from 2018 where she also narrowly missed out on a medal.
Conway had an opening round bye before defeating former World Championship bronze medallist Onix Cortes-Aldama (CUB) and the recent Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Gulnoza Matniyazova (UZB) to set up a quarter-final match against multiple European Championship medallist Michaela Polleres (AUT).
After finding herself two penalty shido’s down Conway had to attack but was unfortunately countered by her opponent and thrown for ippon. The defeat progressed Conway to the Repechage where she faced Anka Pogacnik (SLO). It took over 4 minutes and 30 seconds of Golden Score to separate the two players, but it was Conway who emerged victorious to progress to the bronze medal match to face the Pan American Championship bronze medallist Elvismar Rodriguez (VEN).
In the bronze medal match Conway was unfortunately thrown by a Soto makikomi for ippon by Rodriguez meaning she had to settle for 5th.
Stuart McWatt (-81kg) defeated the 2018 European U23 Championship bronze medallist Timo Cavelius (GER) in Golden Score in the opening round before being defeated by current European Championship bronze medallist Luka Maisuradze (GEO) in the second round. Maisuradze went on to claim the silver medal.
Lubjana Piovesana (-63kg) had a bye in the opening round before being defeated by top seed and Olympic Champion Tina Trstenjak (SLO) in round two, who later went on to win gold.
Eric Ham (-73kg) was narrowly defeated by a waza-ari score by Frigyes Szabo (HUN) in the opening round, with the Hungarian later going on to finish 7th.
Gemma Howell (-70kg) was defeated in Golden Score by former World Junior Champion and current European Championship bronze medallist Barbara Matic (CRO) in the opening round. Matic later went on to finish in 5th place.
Tomorrow is the third and final day of competition at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam with three British Judoka in action.
Max Stewart (-90kg) who currently sits in an Olympic Games continental qualifying position, has an opening round match against Hebilige Bu (CHN) with the winner progressing to face Nemanja Majdov (SRB) in the second round.
2018 European U23 Championship silver medallist Jamal Petgrave (-90kg) has an opening round match against John Jayne (USA).
Natalie Powell (-78kg) is in fine form following a bronze medal at the Tashkent Grand Prix and silver at the Brasilia Grand Slam after a 7th place finish at the World Championships in Tokyo. Powell, drawn top of Pool C, has an opening round bye and will await the winner of the opening round match between Ikumi Oeda (THA) and Unelle Snyman (RSA).
The start time in Abu Dhabi tomorrow is 7:00am (GMT) with Final Block is due to start at 2:00pm.