Chelsie Giles hailed the best day of her judo career so far as she took out the -52kg Olympic champion on route to gold at the Tel Aviv Grand Slam.
The 24-year-old threw all of her opponents for ippon, including Rio gold medallist Majlinda Kelmendi in the semi-final, in an outstanding display of attacking judo in Israel.
In the final Giles performed an osaekomi pin on home favourite Gili Cohen for 20 seconds, enough to win by ippon and claim a maiden Grand Slam gold in stunning style.
Judo
Giles wins European judo gold
30/04/2022 AT 11:22
"Wow, that was amazing," said the Coventry-born star.
"I knew training had gone well since the Masters, but it's only when you step onto the mat and compete that you can really see how that training has gone.
"To beat the Olympic champion and win my first Grand Slam gold medal is fantastic.
"The confidence I can take from this performance going into my upcoming competitions will enable me to give my best performance later this year in Tokyo."
Giles had fought Kelmendi, who won Kosovo’s first-ever Olympic medal in 2016, on three prior occasions.
In their last two meetings - also Grand Slam semi-finals - the Brit held her own to the four-minute mark but couldn’t find a winning breakthrough.
The Tel Aviv title is Giles's best-ever result on the IJF World Tour. She won bronze medals at Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in 2018 and 2019 and silver at Antalya Grand Prix in 2018.
"This is the best I’ve seen Chelsie fight," said British Judo Performance Coach Jamie Johnson.
"We know there is still room for improvement, but this performance can be a springboard to really kickstart the year as we head towards Tokyo.
"Chelsie can take great confident knowing that she beat some world class fighters today and of course beating the Olympic champion was a bonus."
Sportsbeat 2021
Judo
‘Nothing better than the Karkari Geiko’ - Céline Géraud delivers her judo tips
11/04/2022 AT 13:30
Judo
British men asked to step up ahead of European Judo Championships
06/04/2022 AT 14:11