Brent player retains British Open title at Wembley

PUBLISHED: 18:01 15 July 2015 | UPDATED: 18:01 15 July 2015

Nekoda Davis with her 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal

Nekoda Davis with her 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Commonwealth champion Nekoda Davis was happy in more ways than one after retaining her British Open Championship crown at Wembley Arena on Saturday.

The Dollis Hill player won her first two 57kg contests with ease before being taken the distance by Lea Buet from Senegal, in a final where her superior gripping and throwing skills saw her to a points win.

Delighted to retain the title, Davis was equally thrilled that her mother had seen her compete for the first time since she was in primary school.

She said: “It was quite special to fight here at Wembley as my family live 10 minutes away and, having all our tournaments abroad, it was nice to have them watching me here.

“The last time my mum saw me competing at such a stage was 12 years ago. I wanted to do them proud and I hope I did.”

Another Commonwealth champion, Queen’s Park’s Ashley McKenzie, was a man in a hurry as he racked up a fifth British Open title in the 60kg class.

McKenzie, who originally got into the sport following a row over Pokemon cards while at school, took delight in despatching each rival for Ippon faster than the one before.

Maria Carmine Di Loretto was the last to feel the force of the former Willesden Judo Club player, who clinched the title after spending less than five minutes in total on the mat during the day.

Sunday’s action saw another former Willesden player, Theo Spalding-McIntosh, claim silver in the heavyweight division (over 100kg).

The first gold of day two was won by Owen Livesey, who threw British rival Tom Reed first for waza-ari, and then yuko. It was the fourth time in six months the pair had gone head to head in competition finals.

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