Nekoda Smythe-Davis -57kg


Age 25

Best Result in 2018: Dusseldorf Grand Slam Gold

Nekoda Smythe-Davis backed up her 2017 World bronze with a couple of big Grand Slam results at the start of 2018.

A bronze at Paris Grand Slam in February meant that she was the 50th British judoka to medal at the Paris tournament and firmly established her place as one of the top ranked judoka at -57kg.

Just two weeks later Smythe-Davis went in as top seed at the Dusseldorf Grand Slam and more than backed up her ranking.

The British fighter showed the full range of her abilities on the way to the final, beating opponents in tachiwaza and newaza.

The final saw her take on Hungary’s Hedvig Karakas and the British judoka came from behind to beat her opponent for the very first time, almost three minutes into golden score.

First round defeats at the Europeans in Tel Aviv and Zagreb Grand Prix have followed but Smythe-Davis still goes into Baku as one of the top seeds.

She will fight on day three of the competition at the World Judo Championships on Saturday 22 September.

Natalie Powell -78kg


Age 27

Best Result in 2018: European Championships Bronze

2018 has seen Natalie Powell add even more medals to her sizeable collection while also keeping in touching distance of the No.1 spot.

The Irfon judoka made a slow start to 2018 with seventh in Paris but she was back in the medals with bronze at the Dusseldorf Grand Slam later that month with a win over WRL 8 Karen Stevenson in the medal match.

Another bronze followed at the Antalya Grand Prix before Powell made it three European Championships medals in as many years with bronze in Tel Aviv back in April.

The WRL 2 then made a solid start to Olympic qualification as she won her seventeenth Grand Prix medal with bronze in Budapest in August.

Powell will fight on the sixth day of competition at the World Championships in Baku on Tuesday 25 September.