Students show winning ways in international judo competition
University of Wolverhampton students showed winning ways in an international judo competition recently.
Students studying for a variety of degree courses competed in the International Judo Federation’s World Tour tournament in Tel Aviv, Israel, on behalf of the British Judo Association (BJA).
The Grand Slam event is significant in the BJA calendar with Olympic selection and qualifying still in progress. Students took part alongside 422 athletes, 248 men and 174 women, from 60 countries.
Chelsie Giles, studying for a Business Management degree, achieved her personal best and took gold in the female -52kg weight category. Chelsie was a 2019 European Games bronze medallist and exceeded her best performances to date by beating the current Olympic champion to reach the final of the competition. Chelsie went on to win the final and claim her first ever Grand Slam gold medal and now sets her sights firmly on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
There were other notable performances from the WLV Sport scholars list including a first ever Grand Slam event for Kelly Petersen-Pollard. Kelly, studying for an Exercise and Health Science degree and University champion for the past three years, achieved a 7th place finish in the women’s -70kg contest.
Alongside Kelly three more WLV Sport scholars competed in the international event. Lucy Renshall, a Sports Coaching degree student, took part in the women’s -64kg category and also achieved a 7th place finish. Amy Livesey (Adult Nursing degree) and Eric Ham (Strength and Conditioning degree) also took part.
Chelsie said: “Today was amazing. I knew training had gone well since the Masters, but it’s only when you step onto the mat and compete that you can really see how that training has gone. I felt strong during warm up at the start of the day and went into each fight believing I could win.
“I am so happy with my performance, to beat the Olympic Champion and win my first Grand Slam gold medal is fantastic. Today has been the best day that I have ever felt fighting. I can take great confidence from today going into my upcoming competitions and I hope I can continue performing at this level consistently.”
Nigel Donohue, British Judo Performance Director, said: “This was a complete performance. Chelsie looked very composed all day with a fantastic display of attacking judo winning every contest by ippon. The fight with Kelmendi (Olympic Champion) was world class. Chelsie was competitive in every gripping exchange, never panicked and matched the Olympic Champion every step of the way. The throw to win the match was both spectacular and outstanding given that Kelmendi is one of the best female fighters in world judo and rarely loses a contest and if she does, it’s only to the very best.”
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Top picture: Kelly Petersen-Pollard, middle picture, Chelsie Giles and bottom picture, Lucy Renshall.
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