Natalie Powell: Welsh judoka goes back to basics for World Championships

Natalie Powell
Natalie Powell won bronze at the 2017 European Championships in April

Commonwealth champion Natalie Powell is targeting a podium place at the World Judo Championships.

Wales' Powell won silver at the Ekaterinberg Grand Slam in Russia.

The 26-year-old says she has been working on different strategies after the disappointment of missing out on an Olympic medal at Rio 2016.

"I'm just looking at increasing the amount of options that I've got against players and developing my judo a bit more," Powell said.

"Obviously in the last two years it's been a pressurised situation leading up to the Olympic Games and chasing points all the time.

"I'm kind of going back to the drawing board and starting at the ground.

"There's so much to do and I'm sure if I can work on those for the next Games I'll be in a far better position than I was before."

Powell lost to Japan's Mama Umeki having reached the final in the -78kg category at the Ekaterinberg Grand Slam.

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Judo: Natalie Powell like 'new person' without Rio pressure

Cancun in Mexico will host the next Grand Slam event, starting on 16 June, ahead of September's World Championships in Hungary.

"I've not got a World Championship medal before so that's my aim, to get on that podium," Powell told BBC Wales Sport.

Powell won gold at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games but will not be defending her title at the Gold Coast in Australia next year as judo has not been included.

"It's slightly disappointing because it's always really nice to fight for Wales because you don't get many opportunities to do it," Powell added.

"It just means I get to keep my title for a little bit longer.

"The host country selects a certain amount of events and Australia didn't pick judo.

"But I think for the Commonwealth Games after this one judo will be in every time."

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