Gold Medal Natalie Powell – Tel Aviv Grand Prix 25.01.20

On the final day of action at the Tel Aviv Grand Prix in Israel, Natalie Powell (-78kg) took a big step forwards in securing her Olympic qualification by winning the -78kg category in what was her 3rd Grand Prix gold medal, her first time topping the podium since 2017.  Natalie entered the competition ranked 3rd in the Olympic qualification rankings, knowing strong performances between now and the close of the qualification period at the end of May can secure her a top 8 seeding come the Games.  Natalie defeated Unelle Snyman (RSA), Giorgia Stangherlin (ITA) and Aleksandra Babintseva (RUS) to win her Pool and progress to the semi-final to face former World Championship bronze medallist Luise Malzahn (GER).  A single waza ari was enough to see Natalie defeat Malzahn and progress to the final to face three-time European Championship bronze medallist Bernadette Graf (AUT).  In the final Natalie  was never challenged by her Austrian opponent, winning convincingly by ippon score.