Powell claims fifth place at the Tyumen Grand Slam

The second and last day of the Russian Grand Slam saw Sarah ADLINGTON and Natalie POWELL in action, witha fifth place in the -78kg category for Powell. 

Early in the day, Sarah ADLINGTON defeated Aleksandra BABINTCEVA (RUS) by a yuko score, moving on to face Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist [2014], Rochele NUNES (BRA). Adlington began the contest dominating her opponent. The scores were level with few penalties each, until Nunes threw with a left sided makikomi to take the lead with a yuko score. Adlington put her opponent under real pressure, which saw Nunes take three three penalties. Unfortunately the buzzer went off before the fourth and final penalty could have been given to allow Adlington to take a step further. 
IJF World Masters silver medalist, Natalie POWELL had had a bye in the first round before meeting Marta TORT MERINO (ESP) who she threw for yuko to go through to the quarter-finals. It was then Assunta GALEONE (ITA) to challenge the Welsh based judoka. The Italian was taken down by a yuko of a left sided makikomi by Powell. 
In the semi-final, Powell came up against Tokyo Grand Slam silver medalist [2014], Ruika SATO (JPN). Excellent work was on display from both players with three shidos to two on the scoreboard in favour of the Japanese opponent. In the last 30 seconds Sato found solution to break the stalemate with a right sided tai-otoshi to send Powell to the bronze medal contest. For the podium spot, Powell faced Luise MALZAHN (GER). It was the fourth time they have come up against each other. The German fighter had her plan laid out well, and managed to throw for ippon shortly after the start of the contest. A fifth place and extra qualification points were well earned today for Powell. 
Natalie Powell said:“Today I wasn’t feeling very sharp and had to fight really hard for everything. I am pleased that even though I didnt fight well I gained some qualification points.”
Elite Preformance Coach, Kate Howey added: “Natalie didn’t have a great day today but she dug deep and managed to walk away with a fifth place and 100 points for Rio. This shows how consistent Natalie is at this level.”
Overall, the British Judo team returns home with one silver and one bronze medal in addition to fifth and seventh places. The next Olympic qualification event will be the 2015 World Championships which will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan towards the end of August.