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Welsh judo champion qualifies for place in Olympics

Credit: PA Images

Wales' Natalie Powell has qualified for a place in Rio 2016 after she took a bronze medal at the IJF World Judo Masters.

Powell fought off a challenge from her British team mate Gemma Gibbons, who claimed 5th place overall in the competition.

Commonwealth champion Powell beat China's Zhehui Zhang in the 78kg weight category final.

The event in Mexico was the last qualification event for the sport ahead of the Olympics in the summer.

The Welsh athlete is due to finish above Gibbons this year in the rankings and could be selected to represent team GB.

It's really good to finish the qualification on a high note. It's been a tough few years and after winning the European bronze it was hard to get myself up again for another big tournament.

Winning the bronze means that the points I have gained will put into 7th seed for the Olympic Games if selected.

– Natalie Powell

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Gatland to name Wales v England warm up squad

Warren Gatland will announce his squad later for Wales' match against England on Sunday, May 29.

Credit: PA

The pre-tour warm-up game at Twickenham is Wales' last outing before they fly out for their three-test tour of New Zealand at the end of the month.

Wales will be without skipper Sam Warburton this weekend while he continues his recovery from a shoulder injury.

However, he is on course for the June 11th first Test against New Zealand in Auckland.

Lock Alun Wyn Jones is expected to make his comeback after overcoming a long-standing foot problem.

Assistant coach Robin McBryde has warned that the match is merely a stepping stone for bigger things ahead as they work towards playing the world champion All Blacks in New Zealand.

But the pain of their Six Nations no-show against England that arguably cost them the title, is not forgotten.

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