World Judo Championships: Gemma Gibbons seeks Rio medal

World Judo Championships

  • Venue: Rio de Janeiro
  • Date: 26-31 August

Britain's Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons aims for further success at this week's World Championships.

Gibbons, a beaten finalist in the -78kg weight division, overcame injury to win bronze at July's Moscow Grand Slam.

She and Sally Conway (-70kg) compete on Friday in Rio but fellow Olympians Colin Oates (-66kg), and Ashley McKenzie -(60kg) have already gone out.

"I've never won a medal at the Worlds, so I'm hoping I can deliver something special," Gibbons told BBC Sport.

"I've had a couple of injuries in the last 12 months that have kept me off the mat which hasn't been the best, but I've managed to come back and get medals in top level tournaments."

World Championships schedule

26 August: -60kg, -48kg

27 August: -66kg, -52kg

28 August: -73kg, -57kg

29 August: -81kg, -63kg

30 August: -90kg, -70kg, -78kg

31 August: -100kg, +100kg, +78kg

McKenzie, who was hoping to add a World medal to the European bronze he won earlier this year, was beaten in the first round of the -60kg category by Bulgarian Yanislav Gerchev.

The referee initially gave ippon but it was downgraded to another yuko and McKenzie could not make headway in the remaining time.

Oates did manage to manage to beat Olympic champion Lasha Shavdatuashvili in the second round of the -66kg category, gaining revenge for his quarter-final defeat in London last year.

But he was beaten by Azamat Mukanov of Kazakhstan in the last 16.

Conway, who originates from Bristol, moved to Edinburgh when he was 18 and will compete for Scotland at next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

"The Olympics has inspired so many people," he said. "A lot of people didn't know what judo was this time last year, but now we've got more of a following and young kids coming through are more determined to be at the Olympic Games and be the best they can be which is an amazing thing."

Nekoda Davis is one such example.

The 20-year-old, who was involved behind the scenes at London 2012 as a Games Maker volunteer, was making her senior World Championships debut in the -57kg and she told BBC Sport how the Olympics inspired her to make the British team.

"I was working in the administration department - it was such a surreal experience - I remember being so excited once it all kicked off," she said.

"We were so close to everything. The way the crowd responded I felt the pride and I really wanted to be a part of it. I remember thinking it's four years until Rio [2016 Olympics], it's enough time for me and I want to be there."

However her debut proved short-lived, as she suffered defeat to Hungary's Hedvig Karakas in the first round.

Jan Gosiewski similarly suffered an early exit, losing to Dex Elmont of the Netherlands, the eventual pool D runner-up. Gosiewski was taking part in his first World Championships in the -73kg division, having captured a silver at the European Open in Tallinn and a bronze at the World Cup in Warsaw.

Welsh fighter Natalie Powell could line up against Gibbons in the -78kg, while Sarah Adlington (+78kg) and Philip Awiti-Alcaraz (-100kg) compete in the heavyweight categories.