A twelve-strong GB Judo team has been selected for the 2017 World Judo Championships in Budapest, Hungary from 28 August to 3 September.
Olympic bronze medallist Sally Conway is one of six Rio Olympians to be named in the British team which will also see a number of judoka making their World Championship debut.
This includes St Helens judoka Bekky (-57kg) and Amy Livesey (-63kg) and Max Stewart (-90kg), son of Seoul 1988 Olympic bronze medallist Dennis Stewart. Aaron Turner (-73kg) has also been selected to take a spot in the Mixed Team event.
Natalie Powell (-78kg) is the highest ranked British judoka in the team, currently third in the world while Alice Schlesinger and Amy Livesey are currently ranked fifth and eight respectively at -63kg.
Conway, who made her return to competitive judo in June, has medalled at her last two events including a silver medal at the Cancun Grand Prix where she beat World No.1 Elvismar Rodrguez (VEN). Gemma Howell will join Conway at -70kg having enjoyed a successful transition up a weight including bronze medals at the Antalya and Cancun Grand Prix.
Nekoda Davis (-57kg) has had an injury hit year since the Olympic Games with wrist and thumb surgeries and she will be hoping to make up for lost time. Kelly Edwards (-52kg) will also be hoping to bring back her form of 2016 which saw her win her first Grand Slam and Grand Prix medals.
Double Olympian Ashley McKenzie (-60kg) moved back inside the world top twenty with bronze at the Cancun Grand Prix last month while Ben Fletcher (-100kg) is also ranked inside the world top twenty after winning silver in Cancun.
Nigel Donohue, British Judo Performance Director, believes that the British team are in a good position to challenge for medals:
“We’re really excited about the World Championships in Budapest. This is one of our milestone events and we believe that the team selected can challenge for medals but as long as everyone fights to their potential then the results will come.
“There’s a good mix of experience and new blood in this team and they’re up for the challenge. The likes of Sally Conway and Natalie Powell have been to multiple World Championships so they know what to expect. However, the younger athletes have shown they’re not fazed by big crowds and arenas so it’ll be good to see them in action having firmly established themselves at senior level.
“Especially among our female judoka there’s a lot of strength in depth from -52kg up to -70kg which is really positive for us as a sport and a Performance Programme. That competition will keep everyone on their toes and it’s a really exciting time for British Judo.
“The Mixed Team event will also be very exciting. With it being an Olympic event we feel we’ve got a real chance to challenge for medals with the players selected for this event.”
The 2017 World Championships start on Monday 28 August and finishes on Sunday 3 September with the Mixed Team Event.
*indicates selection for Mixed Team Event only