NATALIE Powell ended 2018 among the top three judoka in the world.

The 28 year old from Beulah near Builth Wells beat European champion Madeleine Malonga to win bronze at the Guangzhou Masters in China last week.

The medal represented Powell’s third having also picked up silver in 2015 and a bronze in 2016 while the result ensured she ended 2018 fourth in the world rankings behind Guusje Steenhuis of Holland and Japan’s Ruika Sato.

Powell put in a superb tactical display as she controlled France’s Malonga in the season-ending event.

“This year has been a bit of a rollercoaster, so I’m really happy it all came together today,” said Powell who learner her trade as a member of the Irfon Judo Club.

“I feel like my judo has improved a lot over the last 12 months and the results are coming together now. I can’t wait to get stuck into next year.”

Powell won the women’s 78kg gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 while also being a two time European Championship medalist.