Lucy Renshall returned to the Antalya Grand Slam to defend the title that she claimed in 2021.
Renshall, who recently rose to no.2 in the IJF world rankings in the -63kg category, entered Antalya as the no.1 seed. She certainly lived up to that ranking as she comfortably eased her way through the preliminary rounds defeating Prisca Awiti-Alcaraz (MEX) and Katarina Kristo (CRO) to book her place in the Quarter-Finals to face recent Paris Grand Slam champion Barbara Timo (POR). With less than 60-seconds of the contest fought, Renshall capitalised with some excellent ne-waza to pin her opponent for 20-seconds to secure an ippon score and book her place in the Semi-Finals.
Tokyo Olympic Games bronze medallist, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (CAN), stood between Renshall and a place in the Final. The contest entered Golden Score where Beauchemin-Pinard was awarded a third shido to hand victory, and a place in the Final to Renshall.
In the Final, Renshall faced Szofi Ozbas (HUN), who has enjoyed great success at Junior level, being crowned Junior European and Junior World Champion in 2019.
Renshall went a waza-ari score up as the contest reached its halfway point and despite multiple Ozbas attacks late on, Renshall never looked threatened and continued to dominate the grip to secure her 4th Grand Slam title.
Kelly Petersen-Pollard breezed through her opening two contests, dispatching of Ssu-Tzu Chang (TPE) in under 60 seconds, with some great ne-waza to pin her opponent for ippon score. She booked her place in the Quarter-Finals with victory over Lidia Brancheva (BUL), a quick change of direction to throw her opponent for ippon score.
Next for the young Brit was 2019 World Champion Marie-Eve Gahie. With nothing between the two fighters the contest entered Golden Score where the experienced Gahie countered a Petersen-Pollard attack to throw for an ippon score.
A Repechage victory against Ida Erkisson (SWE) secured Petersen-Pollard’s place in the bronze medal contest.
The vastly experienced Maria Portela (BRA) stood between Petersen-Pollard and her 4th Grand Slam bronze medal.
Portela had two shidos to her name as the contest entered Golden Score. Petersen-Pollard defended against relentless Portela attacks, knowing a third shido for her opponent would hand her victory and the bronze medal.
Unfortunately, a quick change of direction by Portela was enough to register a waza-ari score and secure the bronze medal, meaning Petersen-Pollard had to settle for 5th.
Meanwhile there were opening round defeats for Louis Delsol and Stuart McWatt in the -81kg category. Delsol was pinned for ippon score by Dominik Druzeta (CRO) whilst McWatt was forced to tap out after Francois Gauthier-Drapeau (CAN) applied an arm lock.
Daniel Powell unfortunately picked up a third shido in his opening round contest agaist Turpal Djoukaev (FIN) whilst Jemima Yeats-Brown was narrowly defeated in her Round 2 contest against 8th seed Elvismar Rodriguez (VEN) after Rodriguez countered a Yeats-Brown attack for waza-ari score, which was all that separated the two fighters at the end of the contest.
Tomorrow is the final day in Antalya where Emma Reid and Natalie Powell compete in the -78kg category. They are joined by Jamal Petgrave (-90kg) and Max Gregory and Rhys Thompson in the -100kg category.
Preliminary Round action starts at 07:30am on Sunday with Final Block scheduled to commence at 15:00.
You can watch all the action from the Antalya Grand Slam LIVE on the British Judo homepage each day.