SALLY Conway insists she will bounce back from her first round exit at the Judo World Championships in Russia last weekend.

The world number nine, who grew up in Thornbury, was hoping to add another major international medal collection having won bronze at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games but lost by ippon to Jennifer Pitzanti of Italy in the -70kg category.

Conway, 27, said: "I came into this World Championships to win a medal. I really believed that I could.

“I felt that my preparation had gone well. I was feeling fit, strong and ready to fight. I didn't get a chance to show what I am capable of.

“After one exchange the fight was over as was my World Championships.

“However I will come back from this as I have got to pick myself up now and come back stronger."

Commonwealth champion Natalie Powell also fell at the first hurdle in the -78kg category on the same day and Great Britain women’s coach Kate Howey was at a loss to explain what went wrong for the pair.

She said: "Obviously I'm very disappointed with today and I believe they could both have medalled.

“Coming into the Championships the girls had put themselves in great positions and were seeded in the draw.

“In the past year there has been some good results for them and they have moved up the World Ranking list.

“To move up the WRL they have to medal consistently on the world tour and that just didn't happen today for one reason or another.

“As a team we will move forward and qualify for the Rio Olympics."