It was double gold for GB Judo over the weekend as Malin Wilson and Stuart McWatt topped the medal rostrum at the 2018 Bratislava Senior European Cup from 01 – 02 September.
-57kg judoka Wilson had to come through in golden score in the final against Russia’s Viktoriia Baidak. The British fighter picked up two shidos before showing her skills in newaza to apply shime-waza and force Baidak to tap out.
This was the third golden score contest of the day for Wilson with her first two fights also going the distance and more.
Wilson threw Swantje Kaiser (GER) for ippon, one minute and 33 seconds into golden score in the first round before her newaza came to the fore in the second round against Andrea Karman (HUN) as she held the Hungarian down in osaekomi.
Next up in the quarter-finals was home favourite Viktoria Majorosova (SVK). Wilson controlled large part of the contest and forced her more experienced opponent to pick up two shidos going into the final minute.
The British judoka spotted her opportunity to throw Majorosova for waza-ari with drop seoi-nage with less than thirty seconds to go.
In the semi-final against Kristina Shilova (RUS), Wilson’s newaza was once again the deciding factor as she showed good determination and skill to apply pressure on the Russian, forcing her to tap.
For McWatt, his gold medal was his second at a Senior European Cup in 2018. The -81kg judoka had finished on top at the Saarbrucken Senior European Cup in July and he was using the event as a final warm-up ahead of the World Championships later this month.
McWatt scored a total of eight times in his five contests as the Garioch judoka showed his range of throws in tachiwaza.
Austria’s Michael Neiderdorfer and Hungary’s Istvan Joo had little answer for the British fighter in the first couple of rounds with McWatt winning both fights inside two minutes.
Young Polish judoka Drzymal Pawel looked to make things awkward in the quarter-finals but McWatt waited for his opportunity, throwing his opponent twice, the second time for ippon.
Marcel Cercea (ROU) was a tricky opponent but McWatt showed good maturity and tactical awareness, forcing the Romanian to pick up two early shidos before throwing him for waza-ari in the final minute.
In the final, McWatt proved too strong for Hannes Conrad (GER) with the British judoka scoring after just ten seconds before finishing the contest in the final minute with a second waza-ari score.
There was also a seventh place for Lele Nairne (-57kg). GB Judo’s two gold medals also meant that they finished second in the medal table behind Russia.
There were also two fifth place finishes for GB Judo at the 2018 Santo Domingo Pan-American Open with both Rachael Hawkes (-70kg) and Sarah Hawkes (+78kg) finishing just outside the medals.
Rachael Hawkes made a solid start as she forced Mexico’s Leslie Villarreal into picking up three shidos. However, she came undone against Eiraima Silvestre (DOM) as the home judoka won inside the first minute.
Dropping into the bronze medal contest Hawkes lost out to Emely Bautista (DOM), as the home fighter proved too good on the day.
Older sister Sarah had to come through the repechage after losing to Melissa Mojica (PUR). The British judoka saw off the challenge of Orquidia Disla (DOM) as she went ahead by waza-ari before forcing her opponent into receiving three shidos.
Mackenzie Williams (USA) though was in good form in the bronze fight as she beat the British judoka by ippon inside the opening thirty seconds.