NATALIE Powell boosted her Olympic dream with a silver medal at the Brazilian Grand Slam.

The Builth Wells judo star added to the Great Britain medal haul in Brasilia to come home with her first Grand Slam medal of the year.

Powell defeated the Pan American Championship bronze medallist Lucia Cantero of Argentina and former Pan American champion Samanta Soares of Brazil to win her pool and progress to the semi-finals.

Powell met world No7, Anna Maria Wagner in the semi-finals and the Welsh star emphatically overcame the German former European under 23 champion.

Powell came face to face with world bronze medallist Kaliema Antomarchi of Cuba in the final with the duo level at the end of the allocated four minutes to enter a ‘Golden Score.’

The Irfon Judo Club star tried to capitalise upon a visibly tiring Antomarchi but was thrown by her Cuban opponent for Waza-ari, meaning Powell had to settle for silver in the under 78 kg category.

Powell was delighted with the medal and hoped her performance would further enhance her hopes of representing Great Britain in the next Olympic Games in Japan.

“I was pleased as it was my first Grand Slam medal of the year and it came with lots of Olympic Ranking points,” said Powell.

“The final was disappointing as I was building pressure throughout the fight and got caught.

“However on the whole it was a good day and a big step in the right direction towards qualifying and medalling at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.”