Natalie Powell – Minsk 2019 European Games 21 – 24 June 2019

7th placing for Natalie Powell at the Minsk 2019 European Games. The 2nd European Games was held in the Belarussian capital from 21 – 24 June 2019. The European Games double as the usual European Judo Championships and offers important ranking points for athletes aiming for Olympic qualification. Natalie over-powered Russian Antonina Shmeleva in round 2, however defeat against Slovenian Klara Apotekar meant repechage where she lost to powerful French fighter Madeleine Malonga.  Natalie said “She’s very explosive and strong particularly in the first two minutes of the fight and I know from past-experience I’ve got to defend hard and as the fight goes on I come into my own, but I started thinking too much rather than feeling the moment. I was more frustrated with the fight before, I thought I had the right strategy this time and the fight was going to plan. I tried to throw her, and I think that was the wrong decision. I’ll have to watch that fight back and see where I went wrong. “Overall it’s a frustrating day because coming into it I felt I had really good preparation and I been feeling in a good place. So, to not come away with a result is frustrating, but in the grand scheme of things, the World Championships are the priority in this block and this is a stepping stone to that so hopefully it will come together there.