2021 sees a return to competitive judo for British Judo as an 8 strong team head to Qatar for the Doha Masters from the 11th – 13th January.
Traditionally the Masters would draw a close to the competitive judo year, however due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Doha Masters now signals the start of a new competition year in which fighters are still vying for valuable Olympic qualification points for the revised Tokyo Games in July.
The Masters has always been a prestigious event in the judo calendar, with only the world’s top 36 fighters in each weight category invited to compete. The Masters really is a who’s who of world judo.
British Judo will be sending 8 fighters to the Doha Masters. All British Judo fighters that qualified were given the option to ‘opt out’ should they not wish to travel and compete.
Chelsie Giles (-52kg) had a fantastic 2019 which really saw her establish herself as one of the top fighters in the world in the -52kg category. A European bronze medal was backed up with a 7th place finish at the World Championships in addition to two bronze medals at the Zagreb Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.
Ashley McKenzie (-60kg), who finished in 7th place at last year’s Qingdao Masters is the sole male representative in Doha. McKenzie made his Masters debut back in 2013 and will be making his sixth Masters appearance in Doha.
The -63kg category is arguably the strongest category in British Judo at this moment in time, with four fighters all vying for Olympic selection and ranked inside the world’s top 36 fighters.
Amy Livesey (-63kg) is currently the number one ranked British fighter in the -63kg category. The former European U23 Champion will be competing in her second Masters event, having made her debut in 2019.
Lucy Renshall (-63kg) has multiple Grand Prix, Grand Slam, European and even a World Junior Championship medal to her name. The highly decorated fighter will be looking to add a Masters medal to her impressive collection.
Lubjana Piovesana (-63kg) made her Masters debut in 2019 where she finished in 7th place. The former European U23 Champion is the youngest of the -63kg fighters currently vying for Olympic selection.
Gemma Howell (-70kg) started 2020 in scintillating form, claiming bronze at the prestigious Paris Grand Slam back in February to follow on from her stunning 2019 season, the highlight being the two back to back gold medals at the Budapest and Zagreb Grand Prix’s.
Natalie Powell (-78kg) is no stranger to the Masters as a former silver and two time bronze medallist, the most recent coming in 2018. Powell made a winning start to 2020 taking gold at the Tel Aviv Grand Prix back in January.
Sarah Adlington (+78kg) made her Masters debut back in 2011 in Baku. Adlington will be looking to secure more Olympic qualification points to secure her Olympic selection as she currently occupies a Continental Quota position lying in 27th place with the top 26 securing direct Olympic qualification.
The draw is scheduled to take place, online, on Sunday 10th January at 11:00 (GMT) when the timings of the preliminary rounds will be confirmed.
Final Block is scheduled to commence at 14:00 (GMT) on all three competition days.
British Judo will bring you a recap of how all your British fighters perform each day and you can follow the action on the British Judo social media channels. You can also watch the action live on the British Judo homepage.
British Judo 2021 IJF World Masters Team:
|Under 60kg||Ashley MCKENZIE||Camberley|
|Under 52kg||Chelsie GILES||Coventry|
|Under 63kg||Amy LIVESEY||S.K.K.|
|Under 63kg||Lucy RENSHALL||S.K.K.|
|Under 63kg||Lubjana PIOVESANA||Bishop Challoner|
|Under 70kg||Gemma HOWELL||Wolverhampton|
|Under 78kg||Natalie POWELL||Irfon|
|Over 78kg||Sarah ADLINGTON||Edinburgh|