Judoka Chelsie Giles from the United Kingdom, won bronze in the women’s -52kg event, giving the country its first medal of the Tokyo Olympics. The 24-year-old Coventry native defeated Switzerland’s Fabienne Kocher by ippon.
Giles had the advantage thanks to an early scoring waza-ari, and she maintained her cool to secure victory.
“It feels so special to do it in Japan. I believed I could do it, my coach has always believed I could and it showed in today’s performance,” Chelsie Giles said.
“I felt really good in the warm-up, and I was taking each fight as it came. It’s an amazing arena and the atmosphere was amazing. To do it where Japan started it, it makes it extra special.
“I never underestimate any of my fights, that’s where mistakes are made. I go into the fight knowing what they do, and knowing what I’m capable of doing. With my best performance, I know I can beat some of the top players and today showed that.”
@chelsiejudo @BritishJudo @uk_sport wins the first medal for GB 🇬🇧 say her name!! CHELSIE GILES! JUDOKA 🥉 couldn’t be more proud of what this girl has come through even just in the last few weeks to get here 😭😭😭 #truechamp
— Nekoda Davis OLY (@nekodadavis_57) July 25, 2021
Giles had lost in the quarter-finals to eventual gold medalist Japan’s Uta Abe, but beat Charline van Snick of Belgium in the repechage to give herself a medal chance.
It follows Sally Conway’s bronze medal from Rio 2016, as well as the silver and bronze medals won by Gemma Gibbons and Karina Bryant in London 2012.