Nekoda wins silver at World Judo Championships 2018

Nekoda Davis won the biggest medal of her career to date as she secured second place – and Great Britain’s first silver medal since 2009 – at last weekend’s World Judo Championships.

The 25-year-old – who won bronze at last year’s Worlds – went into the competition as fifth seed, beating defending champion and world number one Sumiya Dorjsuren in the -57kg semi-final.

Nekoda’s final opponent was world number two and last year’s silver medallist Tsukasa Yoshida from Japan; the six-time Grand Slam gold medallist proved too tough for Nekoda, who was caught twice for waza-ari in quick succession to finish runner-up in Baku.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Nekoda said: “I’m absolutely over the moon. I literally couldn’t have dreamed any of this,”

“The final was tough. She didn’t give me anything, which makes it difficult. I prepared as well as I could, but she was better than me on the day.”

British Judo Performance Director Nigel Donohue commented: “Few athletes medal back-to-back at World Championships level, so to win a second World medal and get to her first World final is an incredible achievement.

“We are confident she has the potential to be the best 57kg athlete in World Judo.”

Visit the British Judo website for a full write-up of Nekoda’s performance at the World Judo Championships 2018.

Next up for Nekoda is the 2018 European Judo Open, taking place on 06-07 October at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow. In the first world-ranking event on British soil in two years, the two-day competition is a chance for nations to kickstart their qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Visit for more information.

Nekoda Davis becomes an ambassador for MuscleFood

Nekoda becomes the latest GB athlete to join Team MuscleFood to promote the importance of moving more and eating better. British Judoka World Champion and Commonwealth Gold Medallist Nekoda will use her expertise to help MuscleFood create valuable content, videos and Q&A sessions to educate and help the brand’s customers.

MuscleFood is one of the fastest growing SME’s in Britain and are part of Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing sales. They see it as their responsibility to reduce preventable lifestyle diseases and to help reduce obesity by making healthy living easy, inexpensive and accessible to all. MuscleFood is currently working with a host of GB athletes to promote the importance of a healthy balanced lifestyle through physical activity and a nutritious diet.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Darren Beale, CEO and Found of MuscleFood, added: “We are so excited to have Nekoda be part of Team MuscleFood. We want to help the English population get active, keep fit and lead a healthy life! We know that Nekoda’s background in Judo and nutrition will help spread the word!”

On signing the partnership with MuscleFood, Nekoda said: “I’m really pleased to be a part of Team MuscleFood as I believe in the importance of inspiring the population to lead a healthy lifestyle and I hope I can use my position to spread the message.

“Balancing nutrition and exercise is not easy even when you’re an elite athlete and so I’m looking forward to experiencing the MuscleFood way and sharing my nutritional journey with everyone.”

Nekoda Davis

Nekoda Davis continues good form with Bronze at Abu Dhabi Grand Slam

EMERGE Sports Management athlete Nekoda Davis has continued her great form with a bronze medal at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam. The British -57kg judoka beat world number seven Jessica Klimkait of Canada in a rematch of their round of 16 contest from the 2017 World Championships.

Klimkait got the better of the early stages with some good movement and fast gripping, before Nekoda asserted her dominance after gaining control of her opponent, and forcing Klimkait to concede the three shido penalties to pick up the victory.

Nekoda had started the day with a solid victory over Nazakat Azizova of Azerbaijan, before a close defeat against Russian Anastasiia Konkina in the quarter finals, meant she had to drop into the repechage group. Another victory against Poland’s Anna Borowska by waza-ari meant Nekoda would end the competition competing for the bronze medal.

Speaking after picking up her medal Nekoda said: “I came to win today so the loss in the quarter final really knocked me and I found it hard to pick myself up for the bronze fight. I am glad I could finish off the day with the medal despite how I was feeling.”

Her performance impressed British Judo Elite Performance Coach Kate Howey MBE who has seen Nekoda show signs of improvement over her last few competitions: “Although Nekoda was not at her best today she still performed well enough to take the bronze. Since the Worlds she has been on a heavy programme in the gym and technically in the mat.

“The pleasing thing about today is some of the technical drills are working in competition already.”

This latest medal comes after an impressive couple of months for Nekoda after picking up Silver at the World Championships in Budapest in August, and a further bronze medal at the Zagreb Grand Prix in last month. This run of good forms comes after a difficult start to the year when she had to undergo wrist and thumb surgery which saw her miss out on the European Championships in April.

Nekoda will look to continue her run of medals, and round off a successful 2017, with a positive performance at the Tokyo Grand Slam in December.

Nekoda Davis becomes an ambassador for Mintridge Events

Nekoda joins a collective of current professional and retired sports people at Mintridge Events, delivering direct and remote mentoring programmes. Every ambassador at Mintridge has a passion for working with the younger generation and together they create a support network for sporting talent in young people.

Mintridge Events harness the power of positive sporting role models to increase sports participation and life skills in young people, whilst promoting a greater knowledge of mental and physical wellbeing. They provide tailor made mentoring programmes consisting of a visit with Iinspirational presentations, Coaching clinics, Q&A sessions, Classroom sessions, and ongoing mentoring.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Alex Paske, Managing Director for Mintridge Events, added: “We are delighted to welcome Nekoda into our team of inspiring sporting role models. Mintridge delivers direct and remote mentoring programmes to the younger generation, and with Nekoda’s honest, engaging approach to delivering her sporting journey, she will be a huge inspiration to students across all ages and abilities.

‘One phrase that Nekoda uses is “Train hard, win easy”, which strikes a chord with the Mintridge messages that are conveyed regularly to students. Her achievements in judo, particularly as Commonwealth Champion will encourage students to move forward with their goals, one step at a time. Welcome aboard Team Mintridge!”

On signing the partnership with Mintridge Events, Nekoda said: “I’m honoured to join the team at Mintridge as it’s important to me to be able to share my experiences with young people who may not yet see the potential they have within themselves. There is nothing you can’t achieve if you put your mind to it.

“I’m really looking forward to my role as a mentor as I have had such strong role models in my life so far so I know what an impact it can have.”

Nekoda Davis to share athlete’s perspective at Elevate 2017

Nekoda will be switching from the mat to the stage next week to take part in a panel discussion at Elevate 2017, a two-day conference and exhibition taking place at London’s ExCeL.

As the UK’s largest cross-sector event, Elevate brings together representatives from the physical activity sector, academia, healthcare, policy makers, local authorities and performance experts.

Nekoda will feature in the Duty of Care Seminar on Thursday afternoon, alongside Director of Switch the Play and former international rugby player Leon Lloyd, and Sport Psychologist at the English Institute of Sport Sarah Cecil.

Nekoda will offer delegates the athlete’s perspective and an unrivalled insight into the aspects required to compete successfully, whilst maintaining the balance of physical and mental wellbeing.

Elevate 2017 is free to attend – Register here to confirm your place.

For more information, visit

Nekoda Davis

Nekoda Davis vows to come back stronger and become Olympic Champion

Nekoda Davis vowed to come back stronger after narrowly losing her round of 16 fight on a single yuko against Automne Pavia of France. She said: “I gave it everything in that match. I knew Pavia was going to be a tough fight and the rest of my day was going to be hard as well.”

After a strong start from Nekoda it was the French judoka who took the lead with a big throw for yuko. Pavia was forced to pick up three shidos but despite increased pressure from Nekoda it was the French judoka who came out on top.

“You get beaten on the day, that’s just the way it is,” she said. “You’ve got to come back stronger, fitter. I 100% believe my day will come. I know I will be world champion, European champion and, hopefully, Olympic champion one day.”

She started her day with a very controlled and impressive winning performance over the highly experienced Sabrina Filzmoser of Austria, as she opened her first Olympic Games with a yuko followed by a nice counter that added a waza-ari to her score.

Despite her disappointment, Nekoda believes she has the edge over her competition rivals in one particular way: “There’s definitely no one here who I think is as mentally strong as I am.”

Her mental strength has been the driving force behind her success in Judo, and continues to push her towards her ultimate goals. Ever since her childhood growing up in Cricklewood in London she has had to stay focused despite the challenges which have come her way.

She said: “I knew that I would have to put the work in in life to make something of myself and not be poor. So it really comes from that … Really the reason I got into judo is that it was the cheapest thing to do, growing up. I found it really hard to deal with that, to not have all the same things as my friends or not be able to go to dance lessons or learn a different language or play an instrument.”

“If you work hard and you stay on the path you will get there eventually. All the knockbacks are just making it even harder for you to get there but, when you do get there, it will be even more rewarding,”

Just four years ago Nekoda was working as a volunteer at the London Olympics. Working in the administration centre, she took the opportunity whenever she could to sneak off and see some of her favourite Judokas in action. After the Games she decided against going to university after being offered the chance to train with British Judo at the Centre of Excellence in Walsall.

In sharp contrast to the big names from high profile sports such as athletics or golf, Nekoda has always been delighted just to receive enough national lottery funding to cover her basic costs. “It means I can afford to pay for my rent and my food and just focus on my training, which is perfect really, coming from when I worked three jobs when I left school to being in the position I am now.”

Despite the challenges, her determination has ensured people believe her ambition. Before entering professional judo, Nekoda worked a variety of jobs including babysitting, teaching judo and working in a sushi shop, which luckily gave her employers who were happy to help her judo career.

“Judo is a Japanese sport and they loved the fact I did judo and gave me time off work and would change the rotas around to suit my competition plan,” she said.

She is adamant that Rio is not the end but the beginning. “This is a stepping stone to Tokyo for me.”

Nekoda Davis Superhero

From Judoka to superhero

Ahead of the start of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games next month, The Guardian recently released its Sporting Superheroes as part of its popular Weekend supplement.

Alongside Nekoda, the 14-page feature included some of Team GB’s biggest names from diver Tom Daley to current Olympic Champion Greg Rutherford. Swimmer Ellie Simmonds and powerlifter Ali Jawad were also amongst the athletes who took part in the shoot representing ParalympicsGB.

Speaking to the magazine and discussing her medal chances in Rio, Nekoda said: “I am realistic in the sense that anything can happen, and if you’re not the best on the day, then you don’t win gold. I just have to work as hard as I can and use the pressure to help me be better prepared, and not to scare myself.”

Click here to read Nekoda’s interview with The Guardian – and to see the feature in full.

Nekoda Davis

Nekoda Davis talks to the media about reaching the Olympics

With only weeks to go, athletes are now making their final preparations before they head to Rio to compete in the biggest sporting show on earth. In this article from the Daily Mail Nekoda Davis explains why representing her country at the Olympics is the pinnacle for her sport and describes the incredible journey she has been through to get her there.