Success for sisters chasing world ranking points around the world

Sisters Kimberley and Louise Renicks are both looking forward to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this coming Friday that will end a fantastic two weeks of globetrotting almost 28,000 miles to claim a string of medals.

Kimberley struck gold at the Apia Open of Oceania in Samoa last Friday (15 November) topping the -48kg podium less than a week after both her and Louise (-52kg) captured silver medals in Mauritius.

This time round, Louise took bronze, as the Scottish sisters return to the stage following time out to recover from injuries.

From Mauritius which is four hours (6,000 miles) ahead of the UK, they travelled on to Samoa (another 8,317) which is 10 hours ahead of Mauritius and then they flew back 10 hours (9,300)  to the United Arab Emitates for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which takes place this coming Friday. Here they will compete on the Friday before returning to the UK (the final 3,300 miles).

Kimberley is now ranked 36 and aiming for 30, while Louise is currently 29 in the world and has the top 16 in sight.

If they emulate their respective results in Abu Dhabi they could potentially amass up to 300 points (gold) and climb the list even further.

Kimberley said: “I am pleased to gain gold and feel I have improved a lot from the following weekend. Now I hope to achieve similar success in Abu Dhabi.

Louise added: “I am glad to still be medalling and I look forward to this weekend in Abu Dhabi. There are a lot of top class fighters competing, but who knows what can happen?”

Asked about how she is coping with the jetlag she said:

“Kim and I are sleeping on the planes and then we are doing small exercises when we arrive at the hotel and getting up early around 6am. We seem to be doing and feeling fine. 

“I think the sunshine always gives you straight energy and a bounce in your step!”

Meanwhile, Stephanie Inglis who seized silver at the -57kg category and as result of both competitions has climbed 30 places on the World Ranking list from 109 to 76.

Last week Inglis took bronze in Mauritius before travelling on to Samoa where she beat New Zealand’s Vicky Stormont by ippon with a sang ga ku in the first bout before sweeping world no 24 Darcina Manuel for ippon to earn a place in the final.

Here she came up against Stefanie Tremblay of Canada, ranked 27 in the world at -57kg, but after being caught for ippon on the ground she was forced to settle for silver.

Looking back over her performance in Samoa, Inglis said: “Standing, I felt I had the upper half but a mistake on the ground cost me the fight.

Now it is her quest to qualify and win the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games for Scotland. “It was good to fight two of the girls from New Zealand and Canada, who I could potentially face at the Glasgow Commonwealths next year.

“To qualify for Scotland I must be in the top seven in Scotland based on points gained at competitions starting from European Cup level and above.

“I am currently sitting ranked number five on that table sitting behind Sarah Adlington, Kimberley Renicks, Sally Conway and Louise Renicks.”

Sophie Cox (-57kg) also took bronze, improving on her performance in Malaga last week.

She opened her contest by scoring two ippons in a row. Her first was against Adel Van Der Walt of New Zealand and the other was over Mikali Hill of Australia.

Then Stefanie Tremblay of Canada turned the tables with an ippon of her own.

However, Inglis fought back against Vicky Stormont to seize silver with two waza-ari’s for ippon.

She said: “I felt relaxed and enjoyed fighting. I lost in the semi to Tremlay who is an experienced player so I wasn’t too disappointed. It wasn’t a strong competition but it’s still good experience. It will be harder next year when it’s held in Sydney Australia.”

Jodie Mullen took bronze after narrowly losing to A Leilani Akiyam of USA by a single shido. She went on to beat Australian Stevie Kelly by ippon.

Words by Donna Richardson. Images courtesy of IJF.