Jemima Yeats-Brown capped off a good day’s judo with bronze at the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam on Saturday 29 October at the IPIC Arena in the United Arab Emirates.
Yeats-Brown, who has moved up to -70kg this year, was going into the tournament off the back of a gold medal at the Glasgow European Open a couple of weeks earlier. She brought that form to the mat from the very start. Brazil’s Barbara Timo came out hard and almost caught Yeats-Brown in the first minute but from then on the British judoka grew into the fight.
Yeats-Brown responded well as she went ahead by waza-ari and then showed her ability to close out the contest to move into the semi-finals. France’s Marie Eve Gahie stood in her way and it proved to be an exciting contest. The taller French judoka looked strong from the start but it was Yeats-Brown who took the opening score going ahead by waza-ari.
However with just a minute to go Gahie got the better of a gripping exchange and was able to level things up. Yeats-Brown went straight on the attack but it was the French judoka who got the better of the exchanges and the decisions to score two yukos and take a place in the final.
Germany’s Giovanna Scoccimarro had shown some impressive judo to book her place in the bronze medal match and she proved to be a tough opponent. Both judoka were looking to be positive and it took a determined attack from Yeats-Brown as she rolled Scoccimarro for waza-ari to get on the board.
That proved to be decisive and Yeats-Brown saw out the contest to add a first Grand Slam medal to her collection.
Speaking afterwards, Yeats-Brown was pleased with her day’s judo and the experience she’s been gaining:
“I am happy with how I fought today and really pleased to come away with my first Grand Slam medal. The experience has been good and I have learnt a lot from fighting at this level.”
Elite Performance Coach Kate Howey MBE, was impressed with Yeats-Brown’s performance:
“Jemima fought well today and achieved her first Grand Slam medal in her first Grand Slam. She is always learning and today showed some of the tactics she has learnt in the past few months.”
Lucy Renshall (-63kg) was also in action today but she lost out to France’s Margaux Pinot in the first round after being forced to tap out in the last minute.
Max Stewart (-90kg) and Philip Awiti-Alcaraz (-100kg) will be going for gold on the last day of the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam with the judo starting an hour earlier at 0800 UK time. Watch live on ippon.tv and follow @BritishJudo on Twitter and check out the live blog for updates and build-up throughout the day.