Gemma Howell loses in last 16 of World Championships

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Howell disappointed with last-16 defeat

Britain's Gemma Howell has lost in the last 16 of the under-57kg category of the World Championships in France.

The 21-year-old scored impressive wins over the world number eight and nine before her run was halted by Isabel Fernandez of Spain.

Howell told BBC Sport: "I'll go back and watch all three fights and see what I can improve on."

Fellow Brits Sophie Cox (-52kg) and Danny Williams (-73kg) went out in the early rounds.

Howell secured a surprise victory against home judoka Morgane Ribout in her first fight.

As the crowed cheered on Ribout, Howell stayed composed and managed to hold down the French player long enough to record the highest score of ippon.

Howell then needed less than 30 seconds to beat her next rival, Hedvig Karakas of Hungary, as the Dartford fighter executed a powerful throw to win by ippon.

Fernandez ended Howell's run in the last 16 when the former Olympic champion was awarded a contentious waza-ari after consultation with the video referee in the opening few seconds.

The British player was unable to recover as her attacks were thwarted by Fernandez.

"I'm pleased with my first two fights, but disappointed with the last," Howell told BBC Sport.

"My preparation for the the tournament well really well. I had an excellent warm-up and felt in-form."

Wednesday had begun well for Britain's men and women as Cox comfortably overcame Macau's Chi Leng Vong in the opening round, then Williams came from behind to beat Georgia's Tengizi Paposhvili by waza-ari, the second highest score possible.

But Cox, European bronze medallist, was defeated in the dying seconds of her next fight by Marta Kuban of Poland.

Williams followed suit as his next opponent, 2009 world bronze medallist Mansur Isaev from Russia, used his experience to beat the British judoka by yuko.

Britain's last world champion was Craig Fallon back in 2005, who crashed out of the tournament in the first round on Tuesday.

In Thursday's competition, Britain's leading judoka Euan Burton (-81kg), Faith Pitman and Sarah Clark (-63kg) will all be in action.

Follow Olympic sport reporter Jessica Creighton on Twitter for updates throughout the championships