No medals for Great Britain on day one of Paris Grand Prix

Great Britain ended the first day of the star-studded Paris Grand Slam without a medal, despite Olympian Colin Oates beating a former world champion early on.

Competition was extremely tough at the first International Judo Federation (IJF) world tour event of the year, with the globe’s best judoka battling across five mats within the Palais de Omnisport at Paris Bercy.

Oates (-66kg) beat former world champion Sobirov Rishod of Uzbekistan by three shidos to one in his opening contest.

But the Brit’s fortune reversed when bronze world medallist Masaaki Fukuoka, Japan’s national champion, sneaked in an ippon after four and a half minutes, despite Oates displaying great ne-waza throughout.

Commenting on today’s action on the mat, Chris Bowles, lead men’s coach, said: “Colin is obviously disappointed with the result against the Japanese judoka, but he firmly believes that on another day the result would be in his favour.

“This is the start of a tough block of competition and Colin is sure he will improve his world ranking in preparation for the World Masters in May.”

Meanwhile, Junior European bronze medallist Nekoda Davis (-57kg) also exited early.

Davis made a confident start against former World Junior silver medallist Juul Franssen of the Netherlands, but the Brit couldn’t quite gain the advantage. After changing her stance, Davis was caught and pinned down for ippon.

“It was a tough draw for Nekoda, but she has now gained the experience of fighting in the biggest arena in the world which will help her going forward this year,” said Kate Howey, lead women’s coach.

Nekoda added: “The top level is very tough and it is very different to juniors.
“I have to just get my head down and keep working hard. I believe I will get results eventually.”

Britain has four more chances of a medal tomorrow with Sally Conway (-70kg), Natalie Powell (-78kg), Sarah Adlington (+78kg) and Ben Fletcher (-100kg) all in action.

The competiton will be streamed live at with British Judo providing regular updates through Twitter, Facebook and

Action starts at 08:00 GMT (09:00 Central European Time (CET)) with the final block commencing at 15:00 (16:00 CET).

Words by Donna Richardson.