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Nekoda Smythe-Davis continues to prosper in 2018
23 Feb 2018 21:45
Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist Nekoda Smythe-Davis (GBR) started as the number one seed in Germany in a category which housed two Japanese judoka and a host of world medallists. Londoner Smythe-Davis, 24, who hails from Ealing Judo Club, took her career to a new level last year with bronze at the World Championships and has made a blistering start to the new season.
Nekoda Davis topped a Grand Slam podium for the first time by defeating Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Karakas Hedvig (HUN). World number four Smythe-Davis had won four Grand Slam medals before today but never gold and that changed in golden score as the Rio 2016 Olympian fought back from trailing to by a waza-ari to win in Germany.
“I knew that gold was possible today but I simply took it one fight for a time,” said the battling British judoka. .
In the first semi-final British champion Smythe-Davis pinned down Tunis Grand Prix bronze medallist Sarah Leonie Cysique (FRA) with a tate-shiho-gatame for 20 seconds and ippon.
In the second semi-final Karakas defeated Abu Dhabi Grand Slam bronze medallist Anastasiia Konkina (RUS) by ippon to book a place in the second Grand Slam final of her career.
The first bronze medal was won by 19-year-old Junior world silver medallist Lkhagvatogoo Enkhriilen (MGL) who was lethal on the ground as she submitted 21-year-old Konkina with a juji-gatame. Mongolia are slowly but surely blooding a new generation of judoka on the IJF World Judo Tour and teenager Lkhagvatogoo, who celebrated her first IJF honour, is one of the country’s top prospects.
The second bronze medal was won by 19-year-old Cysique who captured her first Grand Slam medal by defeating Tashkent Grand Prix winner Anna Borowska (POL) by a waza-ari score which came from a harai-makikomi.
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Eric Stunnenberg (NED)