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 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 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 www.elevatearena.com.