British judoka were in action across Europe over the weekend with a number of impressive performances from both Junior and Senior fighters.
International Adidas Belgian Open Herstal and Vise
Chelsie Giles (-52kg) took home an impressive gold in Herstal on Sunday 4 February.
The Coventry judoka won each of her fights on the way to the final by ippon including a win over Oritia Gonzalez (ARG), a former two-time PanAmerican Championship bronze medallist.
In the final a waza-ari was all that separated Giles from French judoka Doriane Colman as the British fighter got some valuable competition practice in ahead of the Rome European Open later this month.
Camberley’s Owen Livesey fought well at -90kg to take home a silver medal. The Commonwealth Games champion was fighting up a weight but came through five tough contests to book a place in the final.
There he faced Dario Kurbjeweit-Garcia (GER) with the German fighter coming out on top, winning by ippon.
Shelley Ludford continued to impress at her new weight as she took home bronze in her first international competition at -78kg.
After losing to Sophie Berger (BEL) in the knockout stages, the British judoka showed her determination to come through the repechage including a win over 2015 Junior World medallist Lisa Dollinger (GER).
Acelya Toprak (-57kg) and Scott Thomson (-60kg) both showed good maturity fighting at a Senior event. Toprak topped her pool before losing a close fight to Veronique Mandeng (FRA) while Thomson reach the quarter-final stage in a strong -60kg category.
Sofia European Open
Dan Powell (-73kg) secured his best finished to date at a Senior world ranking event as he finished seventh in Bulgaria.
The U23 European bronze medallist started off well, beating Niko Sadzhaia (UKR) by ippon. Next, he took on WRL 34 Faye Njie (GAM) and the British judoka showed good maturity as he won by waza-ari.
Powell made short work of Serbia’s Andrija Milenkovic in the next round as he won inside a minute.
Russia’s Georgii Elbakiev was too strong in the quarter-finals as Powell dropped into the repechage, where he took on Marcel Cercea (ROU) after a short turnaround.
The contest went into golden score with Powell losing on waza-ari in contentious circumstances. The referee had called matte but Cercea continued and threw Powell for waza-ari. The Commission reviewed the exchange and decided to award a score to the Romanian.
At -81kg Adam Hoshal beat Phedias Konnaris (CYP) in the first round before losing to Etienne Brand (CAN). The Canadian would go on to win gold.
There were also first round exits for Eric Ham (-73kg) and Jamal Petgrave (-90kg) to Hievorh Manukian (UKR) and Asaf Chen (ISR) respectively.
Odivelas European Open
Abbi Blackie (-52kg) and Emma Reid (-78kg) both got off to good starts with ippon wins over Patricia Matias (POR) and Paula Martinez Borreguero (ESP) respectively.
However, both were unable to secure a place in the quarter-finals, losing to Nieke Nordemeyer (GER) and Yarden Mayersohn (ISR).
There were first round exits for Kim Renick (-48kg) and Jodie Caller (-57kg) with defeats to Celia Hidalgo Ledo (ESP) and Pauline Starke (GER).