Gemma Howell wins judo bronze medal

Gemma Howell has won bronze at the Paris Grand Slam as she aims for a 2020 Tokyo Olympic spot.

The 29-year-old beat World Championship silver medallist Barbara Timo in the -70kg category bronze-medal match.

Timo amassed three penalty shidos which saw Howell, competing in Paris for the first time since 2011, secure the medal and vital Olympic qualification points.

A knee injury saw GB’s Sally Conway pull out of her -70kg repechage match against Sweden’s Anna Bernholm.

Only one of Howell and Conway – both in the world’s top 20 – will make the British team with only one judoka from each country able to compete in each weight category in Tokyo.

The event in Paris was the first of eight Grand Prix and Grand Slam events where competitors can win Olympics qualifying points.

Howell lost to favourite and current world champion Marie-Eve Gahie of France in the quarter-final but went on to beat Greece’s Elisavet Teltsidou to reach the bronze-medal match.

Elsewhere, GB’s Sarah Adlington (+78kg) was defeated by the 2019 European junior champion, Lea Fontaine of France, in the second round after an opening-round bye.

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