Petersen-Pollard shines silver in Austria

Kelly Petersen-Pollard (Hardy Spicer; Fitzroy Davies) equalled her best performance on the IJF World Tour with a silver medal on day two of the Austria Grand Prix.

Seeded 2nd Petersen-Pollard had an opening round bye before overcoming Irene Pedrotti (ITA) and Anna Bernholm (SWE) to progress to the semi-finals. Both victories were courtesy of her opponents amassing three penalty shidos each.

Petersen-Pollard’s semi-final contest went the distance; and some. In the 5th minute of Golden Score Petersen-Pollard forced her opponent, Szabina Gercsak (HUN), to the ground and, like many of her GB Judo teammates, showed her superior strength in newaza to progress to only her second career Grand Prix final where she faced former World Championship silver medallist, Maria Perez (PUR)

With nothing between the pair, the contest looked destined for another Golden Score battle for Petersen-Pollard, but Perez registered a waza-ari score in the final 30-seconds of the contest to take the gold. The result saw Petersen-Pollard claim silver, matching her result from the Zagreb Grand Prix back in 2021.

In the -73kg category Eric Ham (Glossop JC; Geoff Ham) defeated Aden-Alexandre Houssein (DJI) in the opening round. Ham threw for waza-ari score before transitioning into newaza to secure victory via ippon score.

Ham endured a mammoth round two battle with 6th seed Adil Osmanov (MDA). The contest was in the 8th minute when Osmanov registered a waza-ari score to progress.

In the -63kg category, Gemma Howell (Wolverhampton JC; Bill Kelly) was a score up against Agatha Schmidt (GER) in her opening round contest before seemingly looking to have secured victory with an arm lock which forced her opponent to tap. Upon review, it was deemed Howell had initiated the attack from a standing position which resulted in her being awarded a handsoku-make, which meant instant disqualification.

In the -81kg category, both Lachlan Moorhead (Sheffield JC; Matt Moorhead) and Scott Cusack (Billy Cusack; Edinburgh Judo) were defeated in their respective opening rounds.

Moorhead had an opening round bye before he was defeated by Kenny-Komi Bedel (ITA) in Round 2. A waza-ari score followed by a throw for ippon seeing the Italian fighter progress. Cusack was defeated by a single waza-ari score in his round-one contest against Alfonso Urquiza-Solana (ESP).

Fellow Scottish judoka, Daniel Pacitti (Cusack; Edinburgh Judo), who was making his World Tour debut, bowed out in the opening minute of his round-one contest. The -73kg judoka was thrown for ippon score by Samuel Gassner (AUT).

Tomorrow’s final day of action will see 6 judoka take to the tatami for GB judo with action getting underway at 9:00am (BST).

You can watch all the action from the Upper Austria Grand Prix LIVE at each day.

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