IJF World Tour heads to Abu Dhabi for season closer

The IJF World Tour heads to Abu Dhabi this weekend in what will be the final World Tour competition of the year.

This will be the 7th edition of the Judo Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi, and 11th year of hosting the IJF World Tour after first staging the Grand Prix back in 2009.

Friday 26th

Olympic Games bronze medallist Chelsie Giles recently returned to competition, claiming silver at the Baku Grand Slam. Giles won her first Grand Slam medal at the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, claiming bronze.

Giles enters as 2nd seed, behind World Number 1 and Olympic silver medallist Amandine Buchard (FRA). Giles will face Gantsetseg Ganbold (MGL) in the opening round. Ganbold returns to competition for the first time since July 2019.

Grand Slam debutant Sam Hall (-60kg) competes for the first time since claiming gold at the Zagreb Grand Prix back in September.

Seeded 5th Hall will face Julien Frascadore (CAN) in the opening round who competes for the first time in the -60kg category having stepped down from -66kg.

Sam Hall recently returned the the IJF World Tour in Zagreb and won gold

Recent European U23 Championship bronze medallist Amy Platten competes in the -48kg category. She is drawn against current European Championship bronze medallist Sabina Giliazova (RUS) in the opening round.

Acelya Toprak makes her 3rd Grand Slam appearance of the year and enters in medal winning form having picked up gold and bronze medals at the recent Dubrovnik European Cup and Malaga European Open respectively.

Drawn in Pool D, Toprak will face third seed Julia Kowalczyk (POL) in the opening round. Kowalczyk finished 7th at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The pair have met twice with the score currently level at one victory each.

Saturday 27th

Following a silver medal at the Paris Grand Slam and gold at the Baku Grand Slam, Lucy Renshall has climbed to 6th in the IJF World Rankings.

Seeded 2nd in Abu Dhabi, she will face Kamila Badurova (RUS) in the second round, following an opening round bye. Badurova and Renshall have met on three previous occasions, with Renshall emerging victorious in all three contests.

Lucy Renshall winning her second Grand Slam gold medal of 2021 in Baku

Kelly Petersen-Pollard has had a fantastic first year in the senior ranks, picking up a silver medal at the Zagreb Grand Prix, before winning her first Grand Slam medal in Baku, claiming bronze.

These results have seen Petersen-Pollard rocket up the IJF World Rankings to 22nd. Seeded 4th Petersen-Pollard has an opening round bye and will face Taisia Kireeva (RUS) in the Quarter-Finals.

Daniel Powell competes in the -73kg category. The Sarajevo European Open silver medallist has been drawn in Pool C and will fight 2019 Tel Aviv Grand Prix bronze medallist Artem Khomula (UKR) in the opening round.

2019 European Junior Championship bronze medallist Lachlan Moorhead competes in the -81kg category. Drawn in Pool B, Moorhead will face recent Yaounde and Dakar African Open bronze medallist Eoin Fleming (IRL) in Round 1.

Sunday 28th

Emma Reid and Natalie Powell will both compete in the -78kg category. Following multiple medals in 2021, including her first Grand Slam podium finish, winning bronze in Zagreb, Reid has climbed to 35th in the world rankings.

Emma Reid (white) has medalled in 5 of her 6 competitions in 2021

Powell meanwhile returned to competition at the Paris Grand Slam, where she finished 7th.

Powell enters as 4th seed, whilst Reid is seeded 6th, both fighters have opening round byes. Powell will face Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Patricuse Brolih (SLO) whilst Reid will face Paris Grand Slam bronze and Baku Grand Slam silver medallist Inbar Lanir (ISR).

Jamal Petgrave, who recently won gold at the Dubrovnik European Cup, competes in the -90kg. Petgrave will face 2nd seeded fighter and 2x Asian Champion Komronshokh Ustopiriyon (TJK) in Round 1.

Action on Friday and Saturday starts at 08:00am (GMT), whilst the Preliminary Rounds on Sunday start at 9:00am

Final Block is scheduled to commence at 13:00 on each day.

British Judo will bring you a recap of how all your British fighters perform each day and you can follow the action on the British Judo social media channels. You can also watch the action live on the British Judo homepage.