Paris Judo Grand Slam 2018: Natalie Powell finishes seventh

Natalie Powell
Natalie Powell saw off the challenge of London Olympics silver medallist Gemma Gibbons to reach the Rio Games

Natalie Powell finished seventh at the Paris Judo Grand Slam 2018 after defeats by Japan's Shori Hamada and Karen Stevenson of the Netherlands.

Great Britain's Powell went into the tournament as world -78kg number three.

She beat South Korea's Jeongyun Lee in the last 16 but defeat by Hamada was followed by losing to Stevenson in the repechage.

The Welsh competitor was the first British female to top the world rankings.

Powell achieved that status by beating ex-world -78kg champion Marhinde Verkerk at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2017.

But she was overtaken in the rankings Guusje Steenhuis and Dutch compatriot Verkerk.

However she will not be defending her Commonwealth gold medal in Australia this year after judo was not chosen as an event.

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