British Judo gets ready for European Open engagements

British Judo is ready to make an impact at competitions in Europe this weekend; with a presence in Italy and Austria for seniors and Croatia for the cadets.

All the players will be making it their mission to go out and put more points on the board towards various goals. In addition to the Grand Prix and Grand Slam events coming up, many of the seniors are aiming for the European Championships between 9 and 12 April, 2015.

Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons (-78kg) will be the leading light in Oberwart at the Austria European Open for women as she gets back on the road to Rio after taking a brilliant bronze medal in the Bulgarian Open in Sofia last week.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic hopefuls from the Centre of Excellence will also be in action, pushing for points.

Some of those selected for development are 2014 junior world silver medallist Ebony Drysdale-Daley (-70kg), European Junior World bronze medallist Jemima-Yeats Brown (-63kg) and Lucy Renshall (-63kg), who gained a fifth place at both events.

Sisters Amy Livesey (-63kg) and Bekky Livesey (-57kg) will also be in action.

Jamie Johnson who led Great Britain to victory last summer in the Junior European and Junior World Championships, will be the lead coach out in Austria. Lead women’s coach Kate Howey, MBE, who oversees the women’s squad during GB selected competitions, said: “Austria is a European Open, so it will be a good build up for Gemma Gibbons as she and the others begin her quest to qualify for the Europeans in Glasgow. We will also be looking to develop the other juniors.”

“There is a lot happening in the next three months. The European opens taking place this weekend are a stepping stone to the Grand Prix in Dusseldorf and they will be closely followed by further Grand Prix events in Georgia and Turkey which carry more world ranking points.”

Commonwealth medallists Danny Williams (-73kg) and Tom Reed (-81kg) are looking to do battle at the men’s European Open in Rome along with Frazer Chamberlain (-90kg), Adam Hall (-100kg) and Philip Awiti-Alcaraz (-100kg).

Dennis Stewart, who will accompany the men’s team to Rome, said: “We are using Rome as a development event. The players will be looking to medal at these competitions to get points on the board so they can qualify for the European Championships in Glasgow.”

Keep up to date with all the action from the European Opens in Oberwart and Rome – live stream available here:

Cadets are also in action at the European Cup in Zagreb.
Follow their progress here: