Judo World Championships tougher than Olympics, says Wales' Natalie Powell

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Judo: Wales's Natalie Powell wants first world title

Welsh judoka Natalie Powell says next week's World Championships will be harder to win than the Olympics.

The tournament takes place in Budapest, Hungary from 28 August to 3 September.

Powell, 27, from Builth Wells, finished seventh at last year's Rio Games but has since risen to third in the world rankings.

"Obviously the Olympics are every four years so they have that extra special bit about them," she told BBC Wales Sport.

"But if you look at it from a judo point of view, the Worlds is more difficult on the day because you can enter two from every country. So there are a lot more players.

"To get a gold at the World Championships would be a massive jump, but it's possible. It's the ultimate dream."

'Back to basics'

Powell previously said she felt like 'a new person' without the pressure of Olympic qualification.

With only one place on offer in the -78kg class, she had to fight off competition from team-mate and London 2012 silver medallist Gemma Gibbons.

After taking a post-Olympic break, Powell says she has been 'back to basics' to ensure she is a better fighter for the 2020 Olympics.

"The last Olympic cycle was all about performing and getting results," she says.

"There wasn't a lot of time just to sit back and get better at my technique.

"I can already feel the pressure building again though. But it'll be coming from a different place now - the foreign judokas rather than my team-mates."

A 12-strong British team will be in Budapest for the World Championships. It includes 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Sally Conway, Alice Schlesinger and sisters Amy and Bekky Livesey.

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