Renshall shines gold in Tbilisi

Lucy Renshall (SKK; Pete Blood) lived up to her number one seeding on day two of the Tbilisi Grand Slam as she dominated the competition to claim her 6th career Grand Slam title.

Following an opening round bye, Renshall, who recently claimed bronze at last month’s Tel Aviv Grand Slam, defeated Eter Askilashvili (GEO) in round two following some great work on the ground. Renshall first registered a waza-ari via an osaekomi before applying an arm lock that forced her opponent to tap out.

Renshall’s round three contest was over in the opening 40-seconds as she again forced her opponent, Hannah Martin (USA), to tap out and concede the contest.

Renshall booked her place in the semi-finals with a Golden Score victory against Inbal Shemesh (ISR). Renshall threw Shemesh for waza-ari score in the opening exchange.

Renshall secured her place in the final with victory against Angelika Szymanska (POL) after overcoming another Golden Score battle. Renshall again trusted in her groundwork to force her opponent to tap out to set up a gold medal contest against Laura Fazliu (KOS).

Renshall overcame another Golden Score battle to secure the gold medal. In the 7th minute of Golden Score, Fazliu was awarded a third penalty shido, meaning Renshall was crowned 2023 Tbilisi Grand Slam champion.

There were 5th place finishes for Gemma Howell (Wolverhampton JC; Bill Kelly) and Kelly Petersen-Pollard (Hardy Spicer; Fitzroy Davies) in the -63kg and -70kg categories respectively.

Howell defeated Nadja Bazynski (GER) in round two, following an opening round bye, thanks to some great groundwork to register an ippon score. Howell booked her place in the quarter-finals with a round three victory against Joanne Van Lieshout (NED). With nothing between the pair, the contest entered Golden Score where Howell threw her opponent for ippon score in the opening exchange.

Howell then faced Fazliu (KOS) for a place in the quarter-finals, the same opponent she faced in the final of the 2022 European Championships in Sofia.

The contest was another close battle and with no score on the board, the fight entered Golden Score. In the second minute of Golden Score, Fazliu capitalised on a Howell mistake and pinned the Brit in an osaekomi hold down to proceed to semi-finals. Howell meanwhile progressed to the repechage.

It looked as though Howell had secured her place in the bronze medal contest with a strangle that forced Flavia Favorini (ITA) to tap out, but upon further inspection by the officials, the score with waived off and the contest resumed. The contest entered Golden Score where Favorini was awarded a third shido, meaning Howell did eventually progress to face Szymanska (POL) for bronze.

Finding herself two shidos down in the bronze medal contest, the fight entered Golden Score where a change of direction by Szymanska resulted in a waza-ari score against Howell, meaning she had to settle for 5th place in just her 3rd competition back following injury.

Petersen-Pollard overcame an eight-minute round two contest against Nyam-Erdene Batsuuri (MGL), following an opening round bye. She then progressed to the semi-finals following another Golden Score victory against Giovanna Scoccimarro (GER) in the quarter-finals.

A defeat to 2020 Olympic bronze medallist Sanne Van Dijke (NED) progressed Petersen-Pollard to the bronze medal contest to face Martina Esposito (ITA).

Esposito registered a waza-ari score in the opening 40-seconds of the contest. Petersen-Pollard attacked for the remainder if the contest, but was unable to register a score to force Golden Score or win the contest. The defeat saw Petersen-Pollard finish 5th, her best Grand Slam result since Hungary Grand Slam last July.

Jemima Yeats-Brown (Ryecroft Judokwai; Ian Oliver) defeated Regina Utnelishvili (GEO) in her opening round contest. Yeats-Brown registered a throw for waza-ari before transitioning into ne-waza and forced her opponent to tap.

Yeats-Brown was then narrowly defeated in her round two contest against Kaila Issoufi (FRA). A waza-ari score registered in the opening minute of the contest was enough to end Yeats-Brown’s progress in the competition.

Following an opening round bye, Eric Ham (Glossop JC; Geoff Ham) was defeated in his round two contest against sixth seed Salvador Cases Roca (ESP), a waza-ari score enough to see the Spanish judoka progress who eventually went on to win bronze.

Tomorrow is the final day of action in Tbilisi and sees two GB judoka in action, with the Preliminary Rounds starting at 08:00am (BST).

You can watch all the action from the Tbilisi Grand Slam LIVE at each day.

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