COVENTRY judoka Chelsie Giles defeated several higher-ranked opponents to claim a bronze medal on a fantastic first day of competition at the Budapest Grand Prix in Hungary.
Giles left former World and European medallists in her wake in a frantic display of judo in the under-52k category to give her a second Grand Prix medal following a maiden silver at the Antalya Grand Prix in April.
Victory over the experienced Andreea Chitu (Romania) handed Giles the deserved medal.
Chitu came flying out of the blocks early on with Giles on the back foot for the majority of the opening minute.
Just as the Romanian was starting to build momentum, Giles spotted her moment and countered an attempted throw to score waza-ari and force Chitu to the mat.
She pounced on her vulnerable opponent and secured an arm lock to force Chitu to submit and claim her place on the podium.
Giles had started the day in fine fashion in Budapest as she eliminated the world No.13 in under one minute.
Switzerland’s European Championship bronze medallist Evelyne Tschopp could not handle the high intensity performance from Giles as she stormed out of the blocks and immediately put Tschopp under pressure.
She claimed an early waza-ari to settle any pre-contest nerves and with just over a minute gone on the clock she secured a second waza-ari to hand her the win.
Giles looked fresh and energetic in her second round contest against Italy’s Giula Pierucci and immediately went on the offensive.
She had lost her two previous contests against the Italian so was out to avenge those defeats.
Both athletes possessed a similar fighting style to each other and as such, took a little time to get to grips with each other.
Giles managed to score via ouchi-gari to give her the lead with 30 seconds left but found herself under increasing pressure from the Italian in the closing stages but to no avail.
Gili Cohen (Israel) laid in wait for Giles in the quarter-finals but she would prove one hurdle too far as Cohen was able to register two waz-ari to drop Giles into the repechage.
She almost secured a spectacular victory at one point which drew gasps from the crowd, only to see Cohen rotate and land on her front.
A very quick turnaround saw Giles back on the mat in the repecharge against Spain’s Nina Esteo Linne with an eye on the bronze medal contest.
It was a quiet opening to the contest but Esteo Linne showed little attacking until the halfway stage but Giles was equal to everything.
Giles tried on multiple occasions to take Esteo Linne to the mat and on her second attempt she was able to secure an arm lock on the Spaniard which eventually forced her submission.