Powell aiming for missing medal at the Judo World Championships
Judo

Powell aiming for missing medal at the Judo World Championships

17 August 2017 / 19:01

Natalie Powell has a medal on the mind ahead of the World Judo Championships, which take place in Hungary later this month.

The 26-year-old Commonwealth -78kg champion has two European bronze medals to her name, but not one on the world stage.

Powell lost out in the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics last year, but once again has shone on the Grand Slam stage this season – winning a silver medal at the Ekaterinburg event in Russia.

“I’m looking to get on the rostrum. I’ve not got a medal at a World Championships before, so that is my aim,” she said.

“I’m trying to just focus on the processes though, really, and take each fight as it comes.

“Judo is so unpredictable that when you start getting carried away the performances don’t always follow.

“We’ve had quite a few camps recently, in Germany and Holland, but now we’re back in the UK and feeling good.

“I’ll have three days over the next ten when I’ll have a high load of activity, aiming to replicate a competition day, then in the ten days before the event itself we’ll taper off to be in the best shape possible come the day of action.”

Great Britain are taking a 12-strong team to Budapest, with Powell competing in the -78kg category and Olympic bronze medallist Sally Conway in the class below her at -70kg.

Joining her in that division is Gemma Howell who, after time away from the mat for surgery on her knee ligaments, returns at a heavier weight that her previous -63kg.

“It feels good to be back at a World Championships, it’s exciting as it’s my first one at the -70kg category, so it’s a bit different, but still good,” she said.

“I had MCL [medial collateral ligament] reconstruction and did my first couple of competitions this season at the -70kg category, with the intention of coming back down to -63kg.

“But then there was a discussion with my coaches that I was fighting well at that weight, and that the weight category suited me.

“I wasn’t initially so keen on it but I thought I’d give it a try. I started well and have been keeping it up.

“So I’ve not been dieting, I’ve been eating, and it’s been quite refreshing and I’ve enjoyed it.”

With eight women in the team there are just four men making the trip to Hungary, with Max Stewart making his World Championships debut.

The 24-year-old from Birmingham admitted preparations had not been ideal in the build up, but that he was now fully fit and raring to go.

“If feels really good to be selected but I don’t want to get too overexcited and nervous,” he said.

“I’ve just got to treat it like any other tournament and take each fight at a time and see how it goes.

“This season has been good leading into the champs, I’ve been a bit ill and had a few niggles but that happens for everyone really.

“We’ve got a few weeks left until the championships now and I’m feeling good and looking forward to the final preparations.”

Full British Judo team for the 2017 World Judo Championships in Budapest, August 28 – September 3:

Women

Kelly Edwards -52kg

Bekky Livesey -57kg

Nekoda Davis -57kg

Amy Livesey -63kg

Alice Schlesinger -63kg

Gemma Howell -70kg

Sally Conway -70kg

Natalie Powell -78kg

Men

Ashley McKenzie -60kg

Aaron Turner -73kg

Max Stewart -90kg

Ben Fletcher -100kg

Sportsbeat 2017

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