THORNBURY’S judo star Sally Conway has said she is taking away the positives from last week’s world championships, despite a shock exit in the last 16.

Conway, who took bronze last year at the Rio Olympics, was thrown to the matt by Puerto Rican judoka Maria Perez in the opening seconds of the third-round bout on Friday, with Perez earning an unassailable Ippon score.

The 30-year-old former Marlwood student had a confident start to the tournament, quickly seeing off Elisavet Teltsidou from Greece and Dutch fighter Sanne Van Duke, the European champion, in her first two rounds of pool B, before the shock loss to Perez.

Conway later joined in a Team GB all-star line-up for the mixed team event on the Sunday, newly introduced at the Worlds ahead of Tokyo 2020.

Despite Conway successfully seeing off her opponent, who has given her trouble in the past, GB were knocked out in the first round, losing 4-2 to South Korea.

Having taken several months off after the Olympics, Conway made a fantastic return to the season with silver medals in the -70kg category at the Bucharest European Open and the Cancun Grand Prix, where she beat the current world number 1, Venezuelan Elvismar Rodriguez.

“On the day I felt ready and relaxed,” said Conway. “I knew the first fight was going to be tough, it always is when you are fresh onto the mat, but getting the pin was a big boost of confidence, which really helped me in the next round.

“It is disappointing looking back on my last fight as I went in prepared but she caught me straight off the mark, but that’s judo.

“I know I had more to give and plenty left in the tank, and while looking back on it doesn’t make it any easier, I know I am on the right path and have more points I can work on ahead of Tokyo, the improvements I have made and how I can tweak my training.”