Home Sport Medal-laden week for Britain in combat sports around the globe

Medal-laden week for Britain in combat sports around the globe

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For the first time ever, British Judo have two world number ones. Chelsie Giles and Lucy Renshall. Photo credit: Team GB

Jade Jones, Lucy Renshall and Caden Cunningham helped spearhead a medal-laden week for Britain in combat sports around the globe.

Judoka Renshall struck a brilliant Grand Slam gold in Abu Dhabi while two-time Olympic taekwondo champion Jones grabbed World Grand Prix silver in Manchester, with Cunningham also grabbing a silver medal.

Fellow taekwondo stars Lauren Williams and Bradly Sinden also bagged bronzes in the north-west while Renshall’s judo teammates Natalie Powell and Jemima Yeats-Brown similarly claimed medals in the Middle East.

Jones, who memorably soared to gold medals in London and Rio, is looking to build momentum ahead of her World Championship title defence in Guadalajara at the end of the year, and reached the -57kg final without dropping a round.

The 29-year-old was beaten in the final by Luo Zongshi – who had won the previous two Grand Prix events in Paris and Rome – but there were still plenty of positives for the Welsh ace to take.

Jones said: “I proved I am still up there. So, I will keep putting in the work and I know I will get on the top spot again.

“I am going away with lots of lessons for the World Championships. Overall, I was chuffed with my performances but gutted there was no magical ending.

“It’s another Grand Prix medal and more important ranking points for Paris.

“I also enjoyed the support of a home crowd again – but I would like to have finished with the gold.”

Cunningham also had a successful weekend, reaching his first Grand Prix final on home soil.

He picked up a superb silver, being beaten by Brazil’s Maicon Siqueira.

Williams and Sinden also found themselves on the podium, both taking home bronze medals. 

In the -67kg category, Olympic silver medallist Williams performed well on her way to reach the semi-final where she was beaten by Frenchwoman Magda Wiet-Hénin.

And Sinden also took home a bronze medal after being forced to pull out of his -68kg semi-final due to injury.

Sinden, who won silver in Tokyo last summer, said: “I was coming back from a previous injury so to pick up another one is disappointing.

“However, we’ve got a World Championships in three weeks so it’s great to have won some ranking points towards Paris 2024 and secure another Grand Prix medal along the way.”

Meanwhile, judoka Renshall was victorious as she successfully retained her title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.

Renshall, the world No.1 in the -63kg category, defeated Portugal’s Barbara Timo to win a fifth career Grand Slam title as she continues her return from injury.

“I am so happy to get my fifth Grand Slam gold medal today, but it’s really all down to the team behind me at British Judo,” she said.

“Fourteen weeks ago I had surgery, and to get me back fighting at this level this quickly I am so grateful.”

Powell also found herself taking home silverware from Abu Dhabi.

The 32-year-old reached the -78kg final in Abu Dhabi, where she was beaten by China’s Zhenzhao Ma to take home a silver medal.

The result equals her best Grand Slam performance for three years and is also an upgrade on the bronze medal that she won at the same event 12 months ago.

And there was also a bronze medal for Jemima Yeats-Brown, who reached the semi-final in the -70kg division.

Elsewhere, boxer Demie-Jade Resztan was another British star to find herself on the podium this week with bronze at the Women’s European Championships in Budva, Montenegro.

Resztan guaranteed herself a medal by reaching the semi-finals, having beaten reigning world champion Ayse Cagirir in her quarter-final bout.

The 25-year-old was up against Italian Roberta Bonatti in the last four, where she was beaten in a split decision to see her take home the bronze medal.

Source: Team GB

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