The Judo Grand Prix in Tbilisi, Georgia is traditionally one of the tougher events on the IJF World Tour with a strong home team entered. There were also a number of athletes using the event as a final bit of competition practice ahead of the European Championships in Tel Aviv at the end of April.
Lucy Renshall, who will make her European Championships debut later this month, was looking for her first medal of 2018 following fifth place finishes at the Tunis Grand Prix and Paris Grand Slam.
The St Helens judoka went in as third seed and came through a tough first contest against Brazil’s Alexia Castilhos.
The British judoka dominated proceedings for the most part but she was forced into golden score where she eventually forced Castilhos to pick up three shidos, which secured the win for Renshall.
Karolina Talach (POL) was next up in the quarter-finals and the Polish judoka made the early running as she put in a number of attacks. Eventually with just under 90 seconds gone in the contest Talach was able to throw Renshall for waza-ari before finishing the fight in newaza.
Dropping into the repechage Renshall took on Rotem Shor (ISR), with the Israeli judoka holding a 2 – 1 record going into that contest.
In another tough and physical contest both judoka had picked up a shido going into the final minute before Renshall was able to get a waza-ari score with just 30 seconds left on the clock.
Renshall held off Shor from there as she secured a place in the bronze medal contest where she faced another Israeli judoka in Inbal Shemesh.
The British judoka had won their previous encounter in decisive fashion but this time she was forced to grind out the win with a waza-ari score in final twenty seconds giving her the win.
This was Renshall’s third Grand Prix medal and her first rostrum finish since her Grand Slam silver in Abu Dhabi last October.
Main photo – Lucy Renshall (Far right in photo) secures Bronze at the Tbilisi Judo Grand Prix