Tough day for our -57kg judoka at World Champs

Monday was the first GB interest at this year’s World Championships in Abu Dhabi as Lele Nairne and Nekoda Smythe-Davis were both in action in the -57kg category.

Nairne produced a great comeback to win her opening-round contest against Tihea Topolovec (CRO). Nairne went a score down, as the contest passed the halfway mark, when she was countered by Topolovec. In dramatic style, she levelled the score with five seconds of the contest remaining to force Golden Score.

With both fighters having two shidos apiece, the contest looked destined to be decided by shidos before Nairne dropped underneath and changed direction to register a second waza-ari score.

Nairne faced 8th seed and former European Champion Timna Nelson-Levy (ISR) in round two, starting in explosive style, registering a waza-ari score in the opening fifteen seconds. The score was levelled in the final 60-seconds to force Golden Score where Nairne was taken to the ground and pinned in an Osae-komi hold-down for an ippon score.

Making her 7th appearance on the World Championships stage, Smythe-Davis had an opening round bye before entering the competition against Shukurjon Aminova (UZB) in Round Two.

Aminova picked up an early shido before picking up a second as the contest neared the 90-second mark – Smythe-Davis was awarded a first for non-combativity. Smythe-Davis picked up a second shido to even to shido score for stepping out of the contest area before being awarded a decisive third shido for a false attack.

The result saw the two-time World medallist exit the competition.

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