Sally Conway secured a further 80 points toward her world ranking and Olympic qualification, as she finished a solid seventh place at the Tokyo Grand Slam this weekend which concludes the International Judo Federation (IJF) world tour this year.
Great Britain’s number one -70kg judoka, Conway was among more than 424 athletes, (253 men and 171 women) from 65 countries competing at the event in the home of judo in an event that attracted a high calibre of judoka Olympic and world champions all looking to end the year on a high.
The -70kg judoka, who is currently seventh in the world, opened with an ippon win against home judoka Haruka Yasumatsu of Japan. Kelita Zupancic took the next contest by a waza-ari and this sent Conway into the repechage that the Briton narrowly lost by three shidos to German Laura Vargas Koch’s two, for seventh place.
Ben Fletcher (-100kg) took an ippon victory, after a waza-ari throw followed by osae-koma-waza, to win against former Olympic champion (Bejiing) and London 2012 silver medallist Tuvshinbayar Naidan of Mongolia but then exited after Kaihan Takagi of Japan took victory by ippon.
Colin Oates (-66kg) took a waza-ari win against Diogo Cesar of Portugal before narrowly losing out to eventual bronze medallist Kengo Takaichi of Japan by three shidos to two.
Ashley McKenzie (-60kg) who had earlier led on shidos, exited in the first round after David Pulkrabek took a waza-ari to win and Sarah Adlington (+78kg) lost to Nami Inamori of Japan for ippon.
Words by Donna Richardson. Photo of Sally Conway by G. Sabau at IJF