The latest Judo News offered by

Natalie Powell first British world number one in IJF World Ranking

31 Oct 2017 10:15

 BBC Sport    JudoHeroes & IJF / Copyright:

Natalie Powell says she is targeting the European and World Championships in 2018 after becoming world number one. Wales' Powell became the first British judoka to top the world rankings after beating Marhinde Verkerk to claim U78kg gold at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.

The 27-year-old wants to retain her standing until the end of the year before her major title bids. "I'm really looking to try and win the Europeans and Worlds next year," she told BBC Wales Sport.

"Those will probably be the next two immediate goals and then obviously I want to win in Tokyo 2020, that's the long-term goal that everybody is striving towards."

Powell won Commonwealth gold for Wales in Glasgow in 2014, and also secured bronze at the European Championships in April. She said reaching the top ranking in the world was the culmination of years of effort.

"I'm really happy I've managed to achieve my dream - it's been 19 years of hard work but we got there in the end," she added.

"I have to stay there now, that'll be the challenge - it's to stay the number one until the end of the year because there's a prize for the person who stays there at the end of the year. "There's still three competitions left and I need to stay ahead of everyone in those competitions."

Following her first Grand Slam event win in Abu Dhabi, Powell flies to Japan on 31 October for intensive training before the Grand Slam event in Tokyo on 2 and 3 December.

She will end her season at the Masters in St Petersburg, Russia on 16 and 17 December.

Add JudoInside to your own web site as link.

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Natalie Powell (GBR) - Grand Slam Abu Dhabi (2017, UAE) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Natalie Powell (GBR) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © Oliver Sellner
  • Grand Slam Abu Dhabi (2017, UAE) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News


Dutch women defend European Games title

21 Jun 2019 17:45

The Netherlands won three gold medals at the first European Games edition in 2015 in Baku. Marhinde Verkerk was the winner U78kg. The Dutch have always had a strong line-up in this class and since that period Guusje Steenhuis took over the lead in this division. The former World number one faced some injuries but seems back in time for a good campaign in the road to Tokyo with stepping stones in Minsk, Tokyo, Prague in 2020. Read more


Malonga and Tcheumeo fight in Paris for a place in the semis

9 Feb 2019 09:10

European champion Madeleine Malonga and double Olympic medallist Audrey Tcheumeo are locked in a battle for Tokyo 2020 selection but both will be urged on by the home faithful. Both are in the same pool to reach a place in the semi final in Paris. Read more


Mami Umeki takes crucial win in race for Tokyo 2020

16 Dec 2018 12:10

Former Japanese world champion Umeki Mami ruled the U78kg category at the IJF World Masters in GUnagzhou as the former owner of the red backpatch was the last Japanese judoka standing on Sunday evening. World number 10 Umeki held down Osaka Grand Slam winner Sato Ruika (JPN) for 20 seconds for gold to arguably propel her to pole position in the ever-changing battle for Japan’s one spot at Tokyo 2020 in the U78kg category. Read more


170 women in The Hague for Grand Prix gold

15 Nov 2018 14:50

The draw at the Grand Prix of The Hague delivered some fine first round matches. With two world champions in the field and 412 participants coming from 62 nations the second edition of the Grand Prix in Holland almost doubled its participants field compared to last year. 242 Men and 170 Women will battle for the medals and valuable points for the qualification for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Read more


Guusje Steenhuis cements her leading position U78kg

29 Oct 2018 17:05

Dutch World silver medallist Guusje Steenhuis showed why she’s ranked number one in the world as the Dutch star powered to glory in the U78kg category. Steenhuis defeated familiar foe and world number three Natalie Powell (GBR) in the final with a makikomi effort which was worth a waza-ari score. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
1Fukuoka7 Apr
1Düsseldorf22 Feb
Result City Date
2Fukuoka7 Apr
1Paris9 Feb


First description Second description Third description Four description