Giles and Smythe-Davis bag medals on opening day of Portugal Grand Prix

On the opening day of the Portugal Grand Prix in Almada, Chelsie Giles (Coventry JC; Simon Moss) and Nekoda Smythe-Davis (Ealing Judo Club; Jo Crowley) both started 2023 in medal winning form.

World number one Giles won the first Grand Prix title of her career as she claimed gold in the -52kg category, whilst Smythe-Davis, who was competing in her first Grand Prix event since 2019, following the birth of her daughter in 2021, won bronze in the -57kg category.

Giles, whose best performances at Grand Prix level have seen her win a silver and two bronze medals, defeated Rebeka Keller (HUN) in Round 2 following an opening round bye. Giles threw her opponent for waza-ari score before transitioning into the osaekomi hold down for ippon score.

Giles booked her place in the Quarter Finals with a third-round victory against Maria Siderot (POR). Giles again trusted in her trademark newaza to progress to face Sita Kadamboeva (UZB).

Giles capitalised on her opponent going to ground and pinned her opponent with an osaekomi hold down for ippon score to win her Pool and progress to the Semi-Finals.

Giles showed in the Semi-Final that she can also throw her opponents as she dispatched Ana Perez Box (ESP) with a great change of direction to book her place in the final in what was arguably the ‘ippon of the day’.

Giles threw Perez Box (ESP) to book her place in the final.

Giles faced 2020 European Championship bronze medallist Estrella Lopez Sheriff (ESP) in the final.

With nothing between the pair the contest entered Golden Score where in the opening exchange, Giles registered an uchi-mata to throw her opponent for ippon score.

Smythe-Davis overcame a potentially tricky first contest with ease as she defeated 6th seed Vera Zemanova (CZE) in Round 2, following an opening round bye. Zemanova picked up three penalty shidos to lose the contest.

Smythe-Davis continued her impressive form to defeat Anastasiia Chyzhevska (UKR) and 4th seed Marica Perisic (SRB) to win her Pool and book her place in the Semi-Finals to face number 2 seed Mimi Huh (KOR).

Huh started the Semi-Final the stronger of the two judoka and caught Smythe-Davis in the opening 15-seconds and threw her for ippon score. The defeat saw Smythe-Davis progress to the bronze medal contest where she defeated Nilufar Ermaganbetova (UZB) to secure her place on the podium.

Smythe-Davis throwing Chyzhevska (UKR) for ippon score to progress to the quarter-finals

Elsewhere on the opening day, Charlie Young (Ryecroft Judokwai; Paul Young) defeated Andres Pariche (VEN) in his opening round contest in the -66kg category. Pariche picked up a third shido in the 8th minute of the contest.

Young unleashed some decisive groundwork to progress through his second-round contest against Denislav Ivanov (BUL) and forced his opponent to tap out of the contest.

A Round 3 contest against 7th seed Eric Takabatke (BRA) was next. Young gave a great account of himself and forced the contest to Golden Score where he was countered for ippon score.

In the -60kg category. Josh Giles (Coventry JC; Simon Moss) had an opening round bye before defeating Younes Saddiki (MAR) in Round 2. Saddiki was disqualified by hansoku make after being awarded a 2nd penalty shido.

Giles was defeated by Yamato Fukuda (JPN) in Round 3 by ippon score.

In the -48kg category, Amy Platten (Redbridge JC; Guy Platten) was defeated by 8th seed Katharina Tanzer (AUT) in the opening round. Platten took her opponent into the 8th minute, but was defeated by an osaekomi hold down for ippon score.

In the -57kg category, Lele Nairne (Bradley Stoke; Pete Douglas) was defeated by Flaka Loxha (KOS) in Round 2 following an opening round bye. Nairne picked up a third penalty shido, handing victory to her opponent.

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