Judo: Sally Conway takes a big step towards Rio

Sally Conway
Sally Conway
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Sally Conway took a major step towards Rio 2016 qualification by winning the Under-70kg title at the Jeju Grand Prix in South Korea.

The Edinburgh judoka, ranked eighth in the world, came through her group with wins over Russian Iana Kriukova, and Linda Bolder, the Dutch world No.14 who is now competing for Israel.

It put her into a semi-final clash with Korea’s Ye-Sul Hwang which she won and she then went on to take gold by beating Korea’s world No.12 Seongyeon Kim.

German world No.2 Laura Vargas Koch, the main threat in the draw, did not make the semi-finals but won bronze in the repechage.

In the Under-48kg event, Commonwealth champion Kimberley Renicks went out early to Turkey’s Dilara Lokmanhekim and Edinburgh’s Patrick Dawson lost in his Under-73kg group to Poland’s Damian Szwarnowiecki.

Conway said: “It felt good to beat some of the top girls in my weight that I have lost to recently. This gives me confidence going into next week for Japan for the Tokyo Grand Slam.”

Great Britain Elite Performance Coach, Jean-Paul Bell, added: “Sally was really good and came through some tough matches. Her gripping patterns which she’s been working hard on paid off and again her ne-waza was world class.

“I think this year she has managed to perform consistently at a high level and this result sets her up nicely for Japan Grand Slam next week.”