GB Judo Review: 17th & 18th February 2018

An impressive weekend from Jemima Yeats-Brown saw her scoop her first title of 2018 with Gold at the European Open in Rome.

The 22 year old, seeded eighth in the -70kg category, saw off Canada’s second seeded Kelita Zupancic in a high quality final that secured top spot on the podium for Yeats-Brown. It was a battle of the newaza queens until Yeats-Brown came up with a kosoto gake, throwing the Canadian for waza ari. Shortly after, the British fighter surpassed with an osei komi waza to win the -70 kg category.

Yeats-Brown was making only her fourth competitive appearance on the mat since returning from major injury which had kept her out of action since 2016.

She was in imperious form throughout the day as she secured three ippon finishes from her four contests including defeating 7th-placed Rio Olympian Zupancic in the Final for her second European gold at -70kg.

The 22-year-old judoka first overcome Tatiana Kovalenko (RUS) before easing past Michaela Polleres (AUT). During the semi-final, she confidently defeated Hilde JAGER (NED).

Emma Reid secured her second 5th placed finish at senior level to add to Yeats-Brown’s Gold. She progressed serenely throughout the morning as she scored ippon finishes in her first three contests. She came up against Hungary’s Evelin Salanki in the semi final but a waza-ari score early on was unanswered by Reid as she dropped into the bronze medal contest. She fell to defeat to Italy’s Linda Politi in the fight, but a fifth placed finish was an impressive return for Reid.

There was disappointment for the other Brits competing in Rome as top seeded Chelsie Giles (-52kg) was defeated in her opening round against Spain’s  Nina Estefania Esteo Linne. Kelly Staddon (-48kg) won her opening contest against Chaimae Eddinari (MAR) but could not find a way past Italy’s eventual bronze medalist Francesca Milani in the second round.

Oberwart European Open, Austria

GB’s sole representative in Austria, David Ferguson (-60kg), lost his opening round contest against Japan’s Tatsuhiko Yamamoto.

Fuengirola Cadet European Cup, Spain

Sian Bobrowska secured an outstanding Gold medal in Spain for the Cadet squad as she won six fights on her way to winning the -48kg category.

It was not straight forward for the 16 year old British Champion though as after breezing her way through the opening two rounds, she came up against Italy’s Sara Lisciani. It was a contest that lasted an epic nine minutes in total with Bobrowska eventually ending the contest via ippon. A further three rounds that went the distance meant that she deservedly took home the Gold medal, defeating France’s Leonie Gonzalez in the final.

There were further podium finishes on the day for GB as Darcie Hancocks and Leah Grosvenor claimed silver and bronze respectively in the -57kg category. It was an all-Brit semi final on the day with Hancocks getting the better the Grosvenor in a high-class semi final that stretched into Golden Score after they could not be separated in regulation time.

Other notable results over the weekend included Beau Farrance (+90kg), Ryan Quigley (-73kg), Charlie Young (-55kg), Emily Cooper (-63kg) and Hannah Wood (-52kg) all placing 7th in their respective categories with Mollie Game (-63kg), Grace Griffith (-57kg), Fayokemi Abidekun (+70kg), Artur Patemian (-55kg) and Cameron Reid-Thomas finishing in 9th position.