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McKenzie bags bronze in Mexico

PUBLISHED: 16:30 19 June 2017

Ashley McKenzie at the Team GB judo squad announcement (pic: Barrington Coombs/PA)

Ashley McKenzie at the Team GB judo squad announcement (pic: Barrington Coombs/PA)

PA/Press Association Images

Queens Park’s Ashley McKenzie landed bronze for Great Britain at the Cancun Grand Prix in Mexico.

It was the 27-year-old’s first IJF World Tour medal since his bronze at the Baku Grand Slam over a year ago, after earlier successes at Miami (2013) and Havana (2014).

McKenzie began well in the under-60kg category against Mexican Yordi Villegas, throwing him for waza-ari, and then beat Peru’s Michael Patino Villagra inside a minute with strong newaza.

The semi-finals pitted him up against Brazilian Phelipe Pelim, who had won their only previous encounter in Germany in February, and McKenzie forced his rival to pick up two shidos with good gripping and strong attack.

A big waza-ari throw sent 2014 Commonwealth Games champion McKenzie into the bronze medal match against Adonis Diaz, of the USA.

And after seeing an early waza-ari cancelled out by his opponent, McKenzie looked the more likely to score and regained the lead before a final throw for ippon.

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