Nekoda Davis picked herself from quarter-final disappointment to take a well-deserved bronze on day one of the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.
The British judoka overcame Canada’s world no.7 Jessica Klimkait for -57kg bronze, gaining revenge for her round-of-16 contest defeat to the same opponent at the 2017 World Championships.
Davis had started her day with victory over Azerbaijan’s Nazakat Azizova but was beaten by Anastasiia Konkina of Russia in the quarter-final.
That put Davis into the repechage final against Poland’s Anna Borowska with her second victory of the day securing her a medal shot against Klimkait.
“I came to win today so the loss in the quarter-final really knocked me and I found it hard to pick myself up for the bronze fight,” David said.
“I am glad I could finish off the day with the medal despite how I was feeling.”
In the bronze medal match, Davis picked up a shido for failing to grip up before Klimkait picked up three shidos in quick succession to give the Brit victory.
The 500 world ranking points from Friday’s medal may move Davis into top 10 in the world at -57kg.
Kate Howey MBE, GB Senior Elite Performance Coach said: “Although Nekoda was not at her best today she still performed well enough to take the bronze.
“Since the Worlds she has been on a heavy programme in the gym and technically in the mat. The pleasing thing about today is some of the technical drills are working in competition already.”
Elsewhere, Kelly MacDonald beat world no.12 Ecaterina Guica in the -52kg category before losing to American Angelica Delgado at the quarter-final stage.
In the repechage final, the Brit lost to the highly experienced Joana Ramos with the Portuguese judoka winning with a waza-ari in the golden score period.
Bekky Livesey was beaten by an ippon from Russia’s Daria Mezhetskaia in the final seconds of her contest.
Tomorrow will be the turn of GB Judo’s middleweights with Amy Livesey (-63kg), Lucy Renshall (-63kg) and Gemma Howell (-70kg) all in action.
Picture: Garbriela Sabua, IJF
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