It proved to be a tough first day for GB Judo at the 2018 Ekaterinburg Grand Slam on Saturday 17 March with three first round exits.
Kelly Staddon took on Romania’s Monica Ungureanu in the first round at -48kg. The Romanian is currently ranked WRL 29 and is a two-time European Championship medallist.
Staddon went behind early on by a waza-ari score, however the British judoka continued to pressure her opponent.
She forced her opponent to pick up two shido but time ran out before she could force a result.
At -73kg Dan Powell had one of the seeded judoka in Ahmed El Meziati (MAR). In a close affair the British judoka was able to force his opponent to pick up two shido.
However, in the final minute it was El Meziati who went ahead by waza-ari. Despite Powell’s best efforts he was unable to get a score back and he exited in the first round.
Eric Ham was the final GB judoka to step on the mat as he faced the powerful Ferdinand Karapetian (ARM).
It was a cagey start with neither judoka able to get a dominant grip but Karapetian took the lead with a nice waza-ari score.
The Glossop judoka stayed in the fight though and looked to have levelled things up in the final minute but the referee had called matte just before.
In the end that waza-ari score proved to be the difference in the contest.
GB Judo will be back in action tomorrow (Sunday 18) with Jemima Yeats-Brown (-70kg), Stuart McWatt (-81kg) and Jamal Petgrave (-90kg) looking to make their mark in Russia.
Competition starts at 0600 UK time with live coverage via live.ijf.org and @BritishJudo on Twitter