GB’s Davis wins bronze in Worlds

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Nekoda Smythe-Davis (left) had suffered a series of injury problems since the Rio Olympics, undergoing operations on her wrist and thumb

Great Britain’s Nekoda Smythe-Davis has won the country’s first World Judo Championships medal since 2010.

The 57kg fighter defeated Miryam Roper of Panama in Budapest.

She was leading in her bronze medal contest when an awkward fall forced her opponent to withdraw.

Davis was taking part in only her second competition since the Rio Olympics last summer because of injury problems, requiring operations to her wrist and thumb.

“It’s one of my dreams come true. I’ve been riddled with injury all year but I feel now is my time,” Davis told BBC Sport.

The medal will give British Judo good reason for cheer as all three athletes to compete before Davis were eliminated at the first hurdle.

After a round one bye, Davis began her campaign with ippon wins over Russia’s Irina Zabludina, and then the world number six Jessica Klimkait of Canada.

It was only a narrow single waza-ari quarter-final defeat to the world number three Helene Receveaux of France that pushed Davis into the repechage.

There she beat the seventh-ranked Lien Chen-Ling of Chinese Taipei by a waza-ari in golden score added time.

And it was while executing her second waza-ari score of her bronze medal contest that opponent Roper appeared to land awkwardly on her neck, requiring medical attention, and the referee awarded the win to Davis.

“I feel sorry about Miriyam’s neck, that’s not a nice thing to happen,” said Davis.

“But I was two scores up and I was feeling really confident that I would have won that.”

Because of her injury problems, the event in Hungary was only her second since the Rio Games, with the other coming at the Tiblisi Grand Prix in March.

“Preparation has been great, actually. Just focusing on training and getting strong has kind of worked in my favour,” she said.

“I am a little bit (surprised). I thought I was capable – it’s just whether it comes together on the day.

“I think there’s going to be more medals for us this week, so I won’t be the only one, definitely.”

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