Natalie Powell won the fifth Grand Slam medal of her career when she took home silver in Abu Dhabi on today.
The Welsh WRL 2 took on WRL 1 Guusje Steenhuis (NED) in the final with Powell having beaten the Dutch fighter on her way to gold at last year’s event. It was a tight and cagey contest with neither judoka able to dominate. The British fighter picked up a shido for passivity but had more than held her own against her higher-ranked opponent. With just over a minute left Steenhuis took a dominant grip and threw Powell for waza-ari. Powell continued to press hard but couldn’t get a score back despite forcing a shido on the Dutch fighter.
Speaking afterwards Powell said “I am pleased with my performance today. I was able to correct a few points from the last few competitions and bring it all together to get back on the podium. As always, I’ve come away with lots to work on, and am looking forward to the next few months preparing for the Masters.”
Kate Howey MBE, GB Head Coach, said “Natalie’s performance today was much better than Cancun as she has corrected some minor points from that competition. It is good for Natalie’s confidence to gain ranking points to help towards qualifying for the Olympics in Tokyo.”