STROUD judo star Harry Lovell-Hewitt won silver for Great Britain at the Sofia and Odivelas European Open, writes Abdullah Mahmood.

This was Harry's inaugural continental open medal and gives him a world ranking and Tokyo 2020 qualification points.

Lovell-Hewitt,21, is in his first year at senior level and was fighting in just his second European Open.

He made a solid start against Spain’s Sergio Salas Ferragut as he threw the Spanish fighter for waza-ari before finishing the fight in a hold down.

He followed that up in the next round with a late waza-ari score giving him the win over Maximilian Hageneder (AUT).

An ippon win over Dmytro Berezhnyi (UKR) in the quarter-final set up a semi-final contest against GB teammate Jamal Petgrave.

Both judoka train together on a daily basis at the British Judo Centre of Excellence and unsurprisingly it was a close fought contest. Lovell-Hewitt took the win in golden score with Petgrave picking up three shidos to two by the Stroud fighter.

Former World champion Loic Pietri (FRA) would be the young judoka’s opponent in the final and Lovell-Hewitt showed no nerves against the more experienced fighter.

Lovell-Hewitt went after Pietri but the French fighter spotted his opportunity late on in the fight to throw him for waza-ari and did enough to hold off the British fighter.