Welsh hero goes home

Author: Mark Pickering, on 12. Sep 2017

World number two Natalie Powell became the first Welsh judoka to win a World Championships medal in Budapest and the British star returned home this week to deliver a masterclass.

The Rio 2016 Olympian from Builth Wells in mid-Wales took bronze in the -78kg category at the IJF's marquee event in Hungary.

Powell, 26, has now won European, World, Commonwealth, Grand Prix, Grand Slam and World Masters medals and is one of the most consistent judoka in the sport.

The 15-time Grand Prix medallist returned to the Welsh valleys on Monday as she visited the Combat Training Centre (CTC) in Treorchy to take two classes and show her world medal to young and old judoka.

Powell was invited to the club by her former Welsh teammate Stephen Abberley who is now leading the highly-regarded Dragons Judo Academy which is based out of CTC and is producing some of the most exciting young judoka in Britain.

"It was great to see so much talent on the mat," said Powell who took a class with children and then adults.

"I visited the club over a year ago and it was great to see how much the children had improved. Steve's doing a great job with the club, the technical level of the class is really high for such a young group of children.

"To go back after winning my world medal will hopefully help inspire the children to continue and keep improving"

Powell on the podium in Budapest

Abberley said: "The children loved the session with Natalie. They asked her when are you coming back!

"It was great to have Natalie there as she was my training partner when I was a full-time athlete and to welcome her to my club and to train with my students is a real pleasure. We are all delighted by Natalie's success and grateful for her taking the time to come and see us."

Click here for more information on Dragons Judo Academy and here for CTC.

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