Day one of the Almada Grand Prix provided some tremendous performances and a stellar start to the IJF World Tour 2023. Though Europe picked up five of the eight available medals in the first two categories (-48kg and -60kg), the gold success stories went to Kazakhstan and Japan respectively.
Then in came the world ranked number one of the -52kg category, Chelsie GILES (GBR). Arguably Giles had a straightforward day and her ranking was clear as she was head and shoulders above her opponents with the nearest being Estrella LOPEZ SHERIFF (ESP) at #16. The British world silver medallist was taken on by Lopez in the final and she brought the fight to say the least, not allowing for any advances from Giles and tactically avoiding being caught up in ne waza.
Giles’ Spanish opponent managed the contest well and took the contest in to golden score, but within 25 seconds Giles used her long limbs to execute a driving uchi mata to take the win, her first gold of the season.
There were no chances for further gold or silver medals for Europe in the 66kg or -57kg categories, the remaining champions from Uzbekistan and Brazil Republic of Korea which meant Giles put Great Britain at number three in the standings, the leading nation for Europe.
Author: Thea Cowen