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 https://www.britishjudo.org.uk/glasgow-2018-european-open/ for more information.
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.”
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.