Natalie Powell Wins Dusseldorf Grand Slam Bronze Medal

Natalie Powell claimed GB Judo’s second medal of the Dusseldorf Grand Slam with a Bronze medal victory on the final day of action on the mat at the ISS Dome.

It is GB Judo’s second medal at the Dusseldorf Grand Slam competition following Nekoda Smythe-Davis’s Gold medal victory on the first day of action on Friday.

An impressive day of judo from Powell resulted in her defeating World No.8 Karen Stevenson (NED) in a tense Bronze medal contest that was settled by a single waza-ari score. It was just reward for Powell’s hard work having briefly topped the World Rankings back in December 2017, having claimed Gold in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.

The Welsh judoka was in fine form throughout the day as she comfortably despatched her early round opponents. Topped seeded for the -78kg category, she received a bye into the second round of the competition.  She came up against Maike Ziech in her opening contest and the German provided a stern test for Powell before she eventually picked up a third shido with a minute remaining on the clock.

This set up a Quarter Final with Russia’s Aleksandra Babintseva in match that fairly even until a moment of brilliance from Powell. Both fighters spent the opening minute of the contest getting to grips with each other’s style of judo before Powell surprised Babintseva with a sudden change of pace resulting in an ippon finish.

Japanese rival Ruika Sato awaited Powell in the Semi Final. She had lost her three previous fights against Sato and this one unfortunately followed the trend. Sato attempted to pull Powell to the mat on numerous occasions before spotting an opportunity and throwing for ippon. This set up the chance for Powell to claim the Bronze medal and her deserved place on the podium.

Elsewhere on the mat for GB Judo today, Jamal Petgrave won his opening round contest of the -90kg on his Grand Slam debut as he defeated Poland’s Rafal Kozlowski. A single waza-ari settled the contest and an impressive first win for Petgrave against the European U23 Bronze medalist and avenge his defeat at The Hague Grand Prix. He could not find a way past Russia’s experienced Dmitry Dovgan in the second round as he picked up three shidos.

Frazer Chamberlain, Andrew Melbourne and Sarah Adlington all fell at the first hurdle. Chamberlain could count himself unlucky as his opponent Yusuke Kobayshi (JPN) picked up two shidos and could have had a third before he forced Chamberlain onto his back for the ippon finish.

Andrew Melbourne (+100kg) came up against Korea’s Sungmin Kim. He was worked around the mat early on by the Korean before eventually succumbing to an ippon defeat.

Sarah Adlington (+78kg) picked up three shidos against Samira Bouizgarne (GER) to be eliminated in the second round, having received a bye in the first round.