McKenzie and Giles in Action on Day 1 of the World Masters

The IJF World Tour returned today with the World Masters in Doha, Qatar. Ashley McKenzie and Chelsie Giles were in action for British Judo in what was the first time a British fighter has competed on the world stage since the Dusseldorf Grand Slam back in February 2020.

McKenzie, the world no.13, was competing in the under 60kg category. Following an opening round bye, he faced world no.36 and London 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, Felipe Kitadai (BRA) in Round 2.

Ashley McKenzie warming up before the start of the World Masters in Doha

McKenzie was by far the more dominant fighter in the contest, persistently attacking his opponent trying the find a winning score. Kitadai had no response to the relentless McKenzie attacks and amassed three penalty shidos, handing victory to McKenzie who progressed to Round 3 to face the 2020 European silver medallist, Yago Abuladze (RUS).

McKenzie started Round 3 in the same manner as his previous round, attacking his opponent from the first second. He scored a Waza-ari early in the contest only to concede a Waza-ari shortly after. With the scores level the contest entered Golden Score, where again, Mckenzie was the dominant fighter, but was unfortunately countered by his opponent when attacking and conceded a second Waza-ari, ultimately ending the contest and his competition.

Giles, the world ranked no.17 competing in the -52kg category, was drawn in Pool A and faced an opening round match against world no.23 Joana Ramos (POR). Ramos, a former European bronze medallist, finished 5th at the 2019 World Championships where Giles finished 7th. The pair had met twice prior to today with the score shared at one victory each.

Chelsie Giles warming up with Lucy Renshall before her opening round match at the 2021 World Masters in Doha

With the score tied at the end of 4-minutes, and the Portuguese fighter having two shidos to Giles’s one, the match entered Golden Score. Giles was unfortunately defeated by a single waza-ari score handing victory to Ramos who progressed to face world no.1 Amandine Buchard (FRA) in Round 2.

Tomorrow sees four British Judo fighters in action as Amy Livesey, Lucy Renshall and Lulu Piovesana take to the mat in the under 63kg category while Gemma Howell competes in the under 70kg category.

Livesey has an opening round contest against the current European silver medallist, Krssakova Magdalena (AUT). The pair have met on two previous occasions with the score currently shared at one victory each.

Renshall has been drawn against Geke Van Den Berg (NED) in the opening round. Like Renshall, Van Den Berg is a former European U23 Champion The pair have met on one previous occasion with Renshall defeating her Dutch opponent.

Piovesana faces an opening round contest against Sanne Vermeer (NED). Vermeer is a former Cadet and Junior World Champion and won bronze at the 2019 European Games in Minsk. The last time the pair met was in 2019 at the Dusseldorf Grand Slam where Piovesana was victorious.

Howell, who has been drawn in Pool A of the under 70kg competition, faces two-time World Champion and Olympic bronze and silver medallist Yuri Alvear (COL) in the opening round. The pair have met on one previous occasion when Alvear defeated Howell in the Semi-Final of the Brasilia Grand Slam in 2019 en route to winning gold.

Action from the Lusail Multipurpose Sports Arena starts at 8:00am (GMT) tomorrow (Tuesday) morning with Final Block starting at 2:00pm. You can watch all the action live on the British Judo homepage and follow the results of your British Judoka on the British Judo social media channels.