British Judo Centre of Excellence

Tough second day at the Tokyo Grand Slam

It was a tough second day for GB Judo at the 2017 Tokyo Grand Slam on Sunday 3 December with all four judoka exiting in the second round.

Alice Schlesinger’s seventh place had been the highlight of day one as the Japanese team dominated proceedings.

Sally Conway and Gemma Howell both made good starts at -70kg with their newaza proving the difference.

Conway made short work of WRL 16 Anka Pogacnik (SLO) in her first round contest. From the very first exchange, the British judoka took her opportunity in newaza to secure osaekomi.

She took on Japan’s Yoko Ono in the second round with the Japanese judoka having won their only contest to date. Conway made a strong start as she applied pressure on Ono, forcing an early shido.

It was an even contest throughout but with just over a minute remaining the Japanese fighter took the lead by waza-ari. Despite conceding a second shido, Ono was able to hold off the fast finishing British fighter.

Howell was involved in a much longer contest against Lola Mansour (BEL) in the first round. In a tactical contest neither judoka was able to really take control as both picked up a shido in regular time.

The contest went into golden score with Howell taking her chance in newaza with a minute gone. After initially going for the strangle, she reset well and was able to secure osaekomi to win the contest.

Her second round contest with World silver medallist Maria Perez (PUR) was another close affair with Howell getting on the wrong side of the referee early on to pick up two shidos. She responded well though to force a shido on Perez.

Then contest went into golden score with Perez taking the win with a lovely bit of ashi-waza throwing Howell for ippon.

Natalie Powell (-78kg) had a bye into her second round contest with Shori Hamada (JPN). The Japanese judoka is a dangerous judoka, especially in newaza and that once again proved the difference.

From the first exchange Hamada was able to take the contest to the ground where she showed good determination and skill to secure osaekomi with Powell unable to extricate herself.

Stuart McWatt (-81kg) was making his Grand Slam debut and he faced another Japanese fighter in Yuji Yamamoto. The home judoka was a former Junior World medallist and proved a tricky customer.

After a fairly even start, Yamamoto took the lead by waza-ari. Despite McWatt’s best efforts he wasn’t able to get the score back and exited in the second round, having received a bye.