Petersen-Pollard starts her Senior career with Gold

Kelly Petersen-Pollard (-70kg) started her Senior career where she left her Junior career, on top of the podium.

2019 European Junior Champion, Petersen-Pollard, making her season debut in the senior age category, won gold at the Odivelas Women’s European Open. It was a great competition for British Judo with Acelya Toprak (-57kg) taking silver and Emma Reid (-78kg) winning bronze.

Petersen-Pollard defeated Marlene Galandi (GER) in the 2nd round, after an opening round bye. The pair met three times in 2019 with Petersen-Pollard winning on all three occasions. Victory saw Petersen-Pollard progress to the quarter final to face home favourite, Joana Crisostomo (POR).

Petersen-Pollard held off a strong start from the Portuguese player, but Crisostomo was unable to match her British opponent and suffered a uchi mata waza ari score early in the contest before an ippon progressed Petersen-Pollard to a semi-final match against Yukiko Uno (JPN).

In the semi-final it took over 3 minutes of Golden Score to separate the two judoka, but it was Petersen-Pollard who emerged victorious with a sutemi waza score.

In the final, Petersen-Pollard started strongly and did not allow her opponent, Melissa Heleine (FRA), to settle into the contest. A single waza ari score to the Briton was enough to see her defeat her French opponent and take home the gold medal.

Toprak defeated Mafalda Matos (POR), Arleta Podolak (POL) and Veronique Mandeng (FRA) to win her Pool and set up a semi-final against Lola Benarroche (FRA). It was an even contest between the two judoka, a strong left vs a strong right meant both players were left searching for an opening. Unfortunately, injury to Benarroche progressed Toprak to the final where she met Koyuki Tsuruoka (JPN).

There was nothing between Toprak and Tsuruoka in the final, with the match going to Golden Score. A single waza ari score for the Japanese player was enough to win gold meaning Toprak had to settle for silver.

Reid defeated Lucia Perez-Gomez (ESP) and eventual bronze medallist, Karen Stevenson (NED) to win her Pool.

In the semi-final Reid unfortunately got countered for ippon by eventual gold medallist Sophie Berger (BEL). In the bronze medal match Reid faced Vanessa Dureau (FRA), with 2 minutes on the clock Reid scored a waza ari to take control of the contest. In the closing seconds of the match Reid threw her opponent with a left uchi mata to secure the bronze medal.

Also in Portugal, Bekky Livesey (-57kg) was defeated by Shannon Van De Meeburg (NED) in the opening round while Shelley Ludford (-78kg) also suffered an opening round defeat by Madina Kaisinova (RUS).

Elsewhere, Daniel Powell (-73kg) and Jamal Petgrave (-90kg) were both in action at the Sofia European Open.

Powell defeated Javier Cabello-Ortiz (ESP) before being defeated by eventual Pool winner and 5th placed player, Dmytro Kanivets (UKR).

Petgrave had an opening round bye and was defeated by eventual silver medallist, Eldar Allakhverdiev (RUS), in the second round.