When Nekoda Davis was beaten before the quarter-finals in last year’s Rio Olympic Games, she knew that it was not the end and only the beginning.
And with no better place to prove that than on the mat, the judoka has shown she is the competitor for the big occasion.
A World Championship bronze medallist last month, Davis has now ensured that is far from the end of her 2017 exploits claiming her second honour in as many months in a season she won’t forget in a hurry.
This week’s silver medal in the Zagreb Grand Prix has put pay to any doubts of that for the 24-year-old with an impressive display in Croatia taking her all the way to the final.
That gold-medal match was worth the wait too, embarking in an epic nine-minute contest against Japanese opponent Momo Tamaoki after the score remained level after regulation time.
Two penalties before time was up ensured Davis was already walking a tight-rope and, thanks to some stoic defence from Tamaoki, picked up her third to end the contest in Golden Score.
That disappointment couldn’t take away from what was an emphatic performance all told though breezing through to the final after a first-round bye.
Youngster and home favourite Iva Operan was to follow, with two waza-aris doing the damage for the Londoner.
It took just 23 seconds for her quarter-final victory – securing an ippon against Slovenia’s Kaja Kajzer – though a Golden Score was again required in victory over Daria Mezhetskaia.
It had appeared that the Russian was on top, only for some quick-thinking to take Davis to the final – eventually leaving Zagreb with a well-deserved silver medal in her armoury.