It was a difficult first day on the mat for GB Judo as first and second exits for their two judoka on the mat resulted in a medal-less day on the first day of competition at the Agadir Grand Prix in Morocco.
Kimberley Renicks (-48kg) came up against home judoka Aziza Chakir in the opening round. Chakir is an inexperienced fighter at this level of competition and that showed as Renicks dominated the contest throughout. The Commonwealth Games Champion showed her experience and worked Chakir around the mat before eventually securing the ippon finish.
Renicks could count herself unlucky to lose her second round contest after she lost via a single waza-ari to Germany’s Katharina Menz. It was a contest that Renicks had control of throughout. The German took the opportunity when it came to give her the scoreboard lead, but that was the only attack of note throughout the contest with Renicks trying to find the scoring combination to either level or win the contest. The clock expired on her though and despite a last second launch of attack, she was eliminated from the competiton.
Gregg Varey (-66kg) was first to take to the mat for GB as he came up against France’s Daniel Jean who was making his Grand Prix debut. Varey has recently made his comeback into competitive judo after missing the majority of 2017 following surgery.
Jean possessed a big height advantage over Varey, and he struggled to get to grips with the French judoka throughout the contest.
At just past the halfway stage, Jean was able to follow through on his rotation in the throw, and despite Varey’s best efforts, was able to register ippon to eliminate Varey at the first hurdle.
Saturday 10 March will see three British judoka on the mat in Danny Williams (-73kg), Owen Livesey (-81kg) and Adam Hoshal (-81kg) in action.