Philip Awiti-Alcaraz made it three medals in as many days for British judoka at the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam on Sunday 30 October at the IPIC Arena.
The -100kg fighter had lost a tough contest in the quarter-finals to veteran Luciano Correa (BRA) after being thrown for ippon in the final minute. However he still had an opportunity to fight for bronze in the final block.
Expected opponent Zlatko Kumric (CRO) was forced to withdraw due to injury which meant Awiti-Alcaraz would finish the competition with a first Grand Slam medal.
Teammate Max Stewart (-90kg) just missed out on a medal himself as he lost a very close bronze medal match to Serbia’s Nemanja Majdov. The British judoka had been dominating the contest but was countered in the final minute for yuko which proved decisive.
Earlier in the day Stewart had seen off young French fighter Aurelien Diesse as he threw him for ippon in golden score before winning a tight quarter-final with Eduardo Bettoni (BRA) on a single shido.
Rio Olympian Aleksandar Kukolj (SRB) proved too strong in the semi-final leaving Stewart to fight for bronze. While there was no medal to take home, he will have 100 world ranking points to add to his total.
On Friday 28 Kelly Edwards (-52kg) had continued her run of good form with bronze, making it her fifth medal in a row since returning from concussion. A day later Jemima Yeats-Brown (-70kg) made her Grand Slam debut and also came away with a bronze medal to add to her three European Open medals in 2016.
Elite Performance Coach Jean-Paul Bell was pleased with overall performance of the team selected for Abu Dhabi:
“Overall the idea was to the develop and expose the team to Grand Slam events early in the cycle. It was a good to see some strong performances and they came away with experience, things to work on and results.”