Grand Slam Winner Howell Keeps Olympic Hopes Alive
The road to the 2020 Summer Games in Japan is in full gear, and everyone is looking to climb aboard for the ride. When everything is on the line, all wins matter. That is something Gemma Howell is taking to heart.
The 29-year-old won bronze at the Paris Grand Slam this past week, beating silver medalist Barbara Timo in the -70kg medal match. It was her first time competing in Paris since 2011. With three penalty shidos by Timo, Howell was able to secure the victory. Now, she takes the next step for Olympic glory.
Following the win, Howell then lost to world champion Marie-Eve Gahie of France in the quarter-finals before beating Greece’s Elisavet Teltsidou to earn the bronze medal.
Winning a medal at the Paris Grand Slam has always been a dream I’m so happy 😊 I 1st fought in the Bercy Stadium 11 years & 13 kg ago (no I haven’t got any taller 🙈) so I’m glad I never gave up. It was great having the 🇬🇧 supporters out here cheering on the team thank you 💜 pic.twitter.com/wKSOyoxGzS
— Gemma Louise Howell (@Gemh7) February 10, 2020
The British sensation Howell is competing with fellow teammate Sally Conway for a spot on the Olympic team, as only one judoka from each country can compete in a weight category. Conway had to pull out of her -70kg repechage match against Sweden’s Anna Bernholm as a result of a knee injury.
If Conway is healthy enough, her and Howell may have an opportunity to compete against one another for the top spot. Both will have until May to win points to qualify. The Paris Grand Slam was one of eight Grand Prix’s and Grand Slam’s to take place leading up to the Olympics.