Amy Livesey impressed as she finished seventh on her debut at the 2017 World Judo Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Thursday 31 August.
The St Helens judoka was going in as eighth seed in the -63kg category off the back of a silver medal at the Cancun Grand Prix and a bronze at the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam earlier this year.
Livesey received a bye into the second round where she faced Karolina Talach of Poland. In a close, tactical contest Livesey was able to work an opening in newaza and applied a strangle and forced Talach to tap.
Mongolia’s Gankhaich Bold was next up in the round of 16. Bold proved to be a tough customer in a physical contest which went into golden score. Livesey was patient though showed good determination to throw Bold for waza-ari after the Mongolian had blocked the initial attack.
Olympic, World and European champion Tina Trstenjak (SLO) lay in wait in the quarter-finals. Livesey had pushed Trstenjak hard at the Budapest Grand Prix last year and it was another tight affair. The Slovenian went ahead by waza-ari with 1:28 on the clock and showed her experience to hold off Livesey’s attempts to get back into the contest.
This forced Livesey into the repechage final where she took on former European champion and World No.4 Martyna Trajdos (GER). The German judoka had won their only previous encounter in Ekaterinburg earlier this year.
That result clearly didn’t faze Livesey though as she more than matched her more experienced opponent and took the contest into golden score. There, both judoka were close to scoring on a number of occasions before Trajdos was able to counter an Livesey and throw her for ippon.
This meant that Livesey finished outside the medals and in seventh on her World Championships debut.
Speaking afterwards Livesey said:
“I had a really good day to start but to finish it like that wasn’t what I wanted. Being so close probably hurts a bit more than going out straight away. So yeah, it’s been a good and bad day, took some positives from it.
“To be honest I wasn’t very nervous I thought of it as a Grand Prix, Grand Slam. That’s what it looked like. I felt good going out there today.”
Alice Schlesinger was also in action at -63kg. As fifth seed she also received a bye into the second round. She took on World Masters medallist Junxia Yang, who also finished seventh in Rio, first up. The British judoka made a solid start but was caught well by Yang and thrown for ippon.
Tomorrow will see four British judoka in action: Gemma Howell (-70kg), Sally Conway (-70kg), Natalie Powell (-78kg) and Max Stewart (-90kg).
Competition starts at 0900 UK time (1000 Local) with live coverage via britishjudo.org.uk and live.ijf.org. Follow @BritishJudo on Twitter for all the build-up and live updates. Don’t forget to tweet your support at #WeAreGBJudo