It was a weekend of firsts for GB Judo with eight British judoka medalling at the Orenburg Senior European Cup and Kaunas Junior European Cup.
Orenburg Senior European Cup
Lubjana Piovesana (-63kg) won her first senior gold medal with a professional display in Russia. The three-time Grand Prix medallist was a class above her opponents throughout the day culminating in an ippon win in the final against Yauheniya Zaitsava (BLR).
At -90kg, Jamal Petgrave added his first senior international medal to his collection with silver, coming through a strong field. The Westcroft judoka lost out in the final to home judoka Iurii Bozha (RUS).
Bradley Stoke’s Lele Nairne also won her first senior international medal in Orenburg, coming home with a bronze at -57kg. Nairne coming through the repechage and won her bronze medal match with a spectacular throw over two minutes into golden score.
Kaunas Junior European Cup
GB Judo finished fourth on the medal table in Lithuania with a gold medal for Shelley Ludford (-78kg) the highlight.
The 19 year old has had an impressive set of results since moving up a weight including silver at the Thuringia Cup in March. This however was her first international gold at -78kg and she did it in the very best manner as she threw Renee Van Harselaar (NED) for ippon with just 22 seconds on the clock.
There was also a first Junior European Cup medal for Jaime-Leigh Whitaker (-44kg) as she won silver. Following defeat to Fatime Beringer (HUN) Whitaker made short work of Lithuanian duo Egle Naudziunaite (LTU) and Karolina Saukaityte (LTU) to secure her place on the medal rostrum.
Harry Lovell-Hewitt made his third straight final appearance at Junior European Cup level as he finished with silver at -90kg. The Stroud judoka had topped the podium last time out in Lignano but was not able to add a second gold to his collection as Germany’s Tim Schmidt proved too strong in the final.
There were also bronze medals for Amy Platten (-48kg) and Molly Harvey (-52kg). Platten’s first two contests lasted less than two minutes combined before losing out in the semi-finals to Mascha Ballhaus (GER).
The 2017 EYOF gold medallist responded well though and beat Helena Grau (GER) in her bronze medal contest to secure her first rostrum finish at a Junior European Cup.
This was Harvey’s second Junior European Cup medal and her first at -52kg. Harvey took on fellow British judoka Olivia Piechota in the bronze medal contest and after a very tactical contest she was able to throw her opponent for waza-ari a minute into golden score.