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.