NATALIE Powell has returned to training following three months hiatus.

The Builth Wells judo star was cleared to return to training as part of the Welsh Government’s latest easing of lockdown restrictions last week.

Like all other athletes the Brecknock raised judoka has spent the past few months trying to maintain fitness.

Now she is back on the mat and returned to the gym.

Powell had hoped to be competing in the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer but despite the disappointment of the event being postponed a year due to the global pandemic she has not lost sight of her dream.

She said: “The date of the Olympics may have changed, but the goal is still the same .

“I’m more determined than ever.”

Powell thanked Sport Wales, Welsh Judo, Create Autonomy, Mark Earle, Tom Hughes, Stephen Abberley and Richard Elmes for their support and generosity during lockdown.

Powell also thanked her coaches team for their support during the pandemic and Government enforced lockdown.

“They have all gone above and beyond over the lockdown period to ensure I was able to continue training and make improvements,” said Powell. “I massively appreciate it."

Powell added: "I am super excited to get back training in the centre again.

"It's been a long time in lockdown, and although I’ve been really lucky to be able to continue my training, I’m really looking forward to being able to train with different people and practise judo again properly.

"The return is going to be gradual, but this is an exciting first step."