Judo: Wales' Natalie Powell in 'best place' ahead of Rio 2016

Natalie Powell in action at the 2015 European Championships
Natalie Powell defeated Gemma Gibbons to win gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

Welsh judoka Natalie Powell says she is in the best form of her career in the build up to the Olympic Games.

The 2014 Commonwealth champion won bronze at the Mexico World Masters on Sunday to seal her place in Rio this summer.

Powell, 25, has collected more ranking points than British rival Gemma Gibbons and is set to be confirmed as Team GB's -78kg choice.

"I'm in the best place that I've ever been," Powell told BBC Wales Sport.

"I'm the strongest, the fittest and my judo's in the best place."

Powell is set to finish eighth in the world, with Gibbons 12th and both will meet the qualifying requirement of being ranked in the top 14 in the world.

More from BBC Wales Sport
Bale could play in Wales' friendly in Sweden
Ledley makes Wales' Euro 2016 squad
Steyn all set for Glamorgan debut

But each nation can only select one judoka for each weight category for this summer's Games in Brazil.

"I don't think it's quite sunk in yet," Powell added.

"The official selections haven't happened yet so I need to wait to officially know but I've met all the criteria."

Powell beat China's Zhehui Zhang in a -78kg bronze medal contest at the Mexico World Masters in Guadalajara.

She is set to become the first Welsh woman to compete in judo at the Olympics and is looking forward to the experience.

"Everyone at the Games is going to be a challenge," Powell said.

"I'm really confident that If I bring my A game against any one of them, I'll be able to beat them on the day.

"I'm going to really concentrate on everybody now over the next 10 weeks and me and my coach will work on getting strategies together to beat them all in Rio."

Top Stories