Edinburgh judoka Sally Conway is celebrating an early Christmas present after winning a bronze medal at the Korean Grand Prix in Jeju.
It was the second medal of her Asian tour after winning bronze in Abu Dhabi a fortnight ago.
Conway is now up to ninth in the world and is on the verge of a top-eight place. That which would guarantee seeding going into the next Olympic cycle, which begins in May. Conway has ambitions of an Olympic medal in Rio in 2016 but, more pressingly, there is the matter of next summer’s Commonwealth Games.
The 26-year-old beat Korean Eun Young Jang by holding her down for an ippon in her opening fight in the Under-70kg event. In her semi-final against another Korean athlete, Ye-Sul Hwang, she picked up four shidos resulting in her disqualification. That set up a match against Spain’s Maria Bernabeu, the European Under-23 bronze medallist. Conway was on top throughout the contest, ahead on shidos before her opponent was disqualified.
“I’m happy to be finishing the Asian tour on a high and with a medal,” she said. “It’s been a long tour but I have taken a lot of positives from it and a lot I need to work on for next year, when I want to break into the top eight in the world.”
GB women’s Olympic Coach Kate Howey said: “This was a solid performance from Sally after three long weeks in Asia.
“This performance keeps her in ninth place on the world ranking list, just 50 points off the top eight. The whole tour has been good for Sally with lots of fights at a top level, gaining two bronze medals and a seventh place finish.”