This weekend sees the nations top Junior and Senior athletes compete to be crowned British Champion at Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport Arena.
We have a look at the ones to watch ahead of what promises to be a fantastic weekend of judo action. The Junior’s are to compete on Saturday 7th while Sunday 8th is the turn of the Senior’s to battle it out to be crowned British Champion.
At -60kg 2018 Champion Josh Giles returns to defend his title. Giles represented British Judo at the European and World Junior Championships this year. He will be joined by 2018 silver and bronze medallists David Ferguson and Nordine Adrif.
2018 British Champion at -66kg Gregg Varey heads to Sheffield in fine form after recently claiming silver at the Dakar African Open. Varey will be challenged for gold by fellow 2018 medallists Isaac Gagin, Henry Wakes and Michael Fryer. Another athlete to watch out for is Neil MacDonald who is a former European Junior Championship silver medallist and European Cadet Championship bronze medallist.
After finishing 7th at the 2019 European Games, Stuart McWatt will be looking to add the -81kg British title to his impressive 2019 CV which also saw him represent British Judo at the World Championships in Tokyo. Also keep an eye on Lachlan Moorhead who was European Junior Championship bronze medallist this year. Looking to cause an upset will be defending silver medallist Scott Cusack and bronze medallists James Hayes and Tommy Mercer.
Defending -90kg British Champion Frazer Chamberlain has had an impressive 2019. Chamberlain narrowly missed out on a medal at the European Games finishing in 5th and made his World Championship debut in Tokyo. Silver and bronze medallists James Reid and Tomas Luckus return looking to improve upon their 2018 results. 2018 European U23 Championship silver medallist Jamal Petgrave and multiple British Judo representative Max Stewart are also competing.
Last year’s silver and bronze medallists Cailin Calder and James Austin will be looking to improve upon their 2018 results in the -100kg category. It is worth watching out for youngsters Max Gregory and Oliver Barratt who both represented British Judo at the 2018 European Cadet Championships. Barratt recently claimed bronze at the Dakar African Open.
In the +100kg category, 2018 silver medallist Joshua Burns and bronze medallist Thomas Alberts return but will face strong competition from multiple British Judo representative and European Junior Cup medallist Wesley Greenidge and the 2014 Commonwealth Champion Chris Sherrington.
Leading the entries at -48kg are defending champion Kimberley Renicks, silver medallist Sian Bobrowska and bronze medallist Amy Platten. Bobrowska has had a great 2019 taking bronze at the Paks European Junior Cup and represented British Judo at both the European and World Junior Championships. Platten is a former European Youth Olympic Festival Champion.
Defending -52kg British Champion Lanina Solley returns to defend her title. She will be challenged by last year’s bronze medallist Abbi Blackie and 2019 World Junior Championship representative Jasmine Hacker-Jones.
Last year’s silver medallist Jodie Caller returns in the -57kg category. She will be challenged by Josie Steele who won gold at the Paks Junior European Cup in addition to silver at the Berlin and Malaga European Junior Cups this year. Also look out for Acelya Toprak, a former European Junior Championship silver medallist.
In the -63kg Verity Stephens and Mollie Game will both be hoping to improve upon their 2018 bronze medals. They will face competition from Darcie Hancocks who was a bronze medallist in 2018 at -57kg and former European Junior Championship bronze medallist Bekky Livesey.
Kelly Petersen-Pollard will look to finish her stellar 2019 on a high by retaining her -70kg title. Petersen-Pollard has had a fantastic year winning three gold medals at Junior European Cup and a senior European Cup gold prior to being crowned European Junior Champion. Last year’s bronze medallist Rachael Hawkes enters off the back of winning silver at the Dakar African Open while fellow 2018 bronze medallist Hazel Taylor will also be one to watch. Chloe Nunn returns to the National Championships following injury and the birth of her child earlier this year. She made a great return to competition winning gold at the Malaga European Cup in October.
Emma Reid and Shelley Ludford will enter the -78kg category as favourites for the British Championship title. Reid was silver medallist 12 months ago while Ludford was World Junior Championship bronze medallist in 2018. Last year’s bronze medallists Rachel Tytler and Imogen Ranner are also ones to watch. Last weekend’s Cadet National Champion Cordelia Gregory will hope to cause an upset with her senior counterparts.
Last year’s bronze medallist Tohgo Kimura leads the entries in the -55kg. While at -66kg European Cadet Championship representatives Harry Zain-Prosser and Shaun Malazarte will be looking to make their mark as they step up to the Junior ranks. Also look out for last weekend’s British Cadet Champion Harry Cox.
At -73kg the 2018 silver medallist Archie Platt will be challenged by a wave of Cadet graduates moving into the Junior age group. Recently back from the British Judo Futures Camp in Japan Harry Le Mare and European Cadet Championship and European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) representative Ethan Nairne will be ones to watch. Also keep an eye on last weekend’s British Cadet Champion Caleb Drysdale.
European Junior Championship bronze medallist Lachlan Moorhead leads the entries at -81kg but will be challenged by European Cadet Championship and EYOF representative Ryan Rijksen-Salman. Looking to cause an upset will be last year’s silver medallist Luka Kvirkvelia and bronze medallist Aaron Miller.
Max Gregory, Andrew McWatt and Oliver Barratt placed in the top three last year at -100kg. In the +100kg Shayden Walters will hope to add the British Junior title to the British Cadet title he won last weekend.
2019 European Junior and U23 Championship bronze medallist Yasmin Javadian (-52kg) will be hoping to go one place better than her silver medal in 2018. World Junior Championship representative Jasmine Hacker-Jones will be looking to challenge for gold along with British Judo’s Cadet Player of the Year Tatum Keen.
Josie Steele will look to retain her -57kg Junior title but will be challenged by European Cadet Championship representatives Leah Grosvenor, Niamh Southgate and Isobel Kitchen. Southgate was crowned British Cadet Champion last weekend after defeating Kitchen in the final.
Last year’s British Championship silver medallist Mollie Game will hope to upgrade to gold this year in the -63kg category but will face competition from Darcie Hancocks who was bronze medallist at -57kg last year.
The gold and silver medallists from last year’s British Championships, Imogen Ranner and Cordelia Gregory return to lead the -78kg entries. While Emily Ritchie and Amy Oram are joined by Fayokemi Abidekun, the 2018 British Junior Championship silver medallist in the +78kg category.