Welsh fighter Natalie Powell’s seventh place was British Judo’s best result on the final day of the 2013 European Championships in Budapest.
The -78kg competitor was handed a tough draw against former world silver medallist and five-time European medallist Maryna Pryshchepa.
Powell fought well and just over two minutes into the contest, she threw her Ukrainian opponent for waza-ari. From there, she controlled the contest to take an impressive victory.
That win set up a meeting with former European silver medallist Lucie Louette of France to decide the winner of the pool. Powell went down by a yuko very early in the contest before being thrown for ippon and dropping into the repechage.
The GB athlete faced Marhinde Verkerk who faced Gemma Gibbons, who missed this competition due to injury, in the London 2012 quarter-final. However, the Dutch fighter was too strong, throwing Powell for ippon and resigning her to seventh place.
The +100kg category saw GB represented by two athletes with Matthew Clempner taking a first round victory, recovering from yuko down to throw Bosnian Drazen Subotic to level the score then hold down for ippon.
This set up a contest against former World and European medallist Marius Pasevicius, but the Lithuanian proved too strong, holding down the Brit for ippon.
Olympian and Royal Marine Chris Sherrington also competed at +100kg but suffered a first round defeat by ippon to German Robert Zimmerman.
21 year old Ben Fletcher fought at -100kg but suffered a narrow defeat by yuko to European junior silver medallist Toma Nikiforov of Belgium.
Following the day’s action and looking back at the whole competition, Performance Director Nigel Donohue said: “I’m pleased with how things went on the whole.
“For Ashley (McKenzie) to win bronze at -60kg in the manner which he did, against experienced opposition was a great result and also Natalie Powell’s 7th place at -78kg.
“These championships have provided invaluable experience for some of our emerging athletes and whilst there were some early exits, there have been some credible and encouraging performances.
“We had some extremely close contests against experienced opposition, many of whom have world and European medals to their name, pushing them the distance and losing out by the smallest of margins.
“Now it’s back onto the European and World tour with the Grand Slam Azerbaijan, IJF Masters, August’s World Championships in Rio and ultimately 2016 Olympic qualification.”