British Judo in search of major Paralympic Qualification points at IBSA World Games

Members of the British Judo Paralympic squad have travelled to Korea for this week’s 5th IBSA World Games. The World Games are an integral part of the road to Rio 2016 for Paralympic athletes and with major qualification points to be had, the British Judo team will be looking for a successful games.

London 2012 silver medallist, Sam Ingram, comes into the World Games off the back of a very successful World Cup in Hungary where he took gold in the -90kg category.

Ingram, currently ranked 7th in the world, will be looking to take this good form into the games and assert himself as one of the dominant forces in his category. A win for Ingram will all but secure him a place in at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Fighting his way back from a dislocated hip injury just six weeks ago, Chris Skelley (-100kg) is determined to get himself into a qualifying position for upcoming Paralympic Games. Currently ranked 13th in the world, Skelley is in need of qualification points and will be looking to return to winning ways after a disappointing 7th place in the Hungary World Cup.

British Judo Paralympic Coach, Ian Johns said: “We were all concerned when Chris dislocated his hip and all looked lost for the rest of the year. However, GB medical staff and world leading hip specialists have performed minor miracles in turning his rehabilitation round in readiness for this important event.

“The major driving force behind this miracle has to be Chris himself, his determination to represent GB at the games is an inspiration to all athletes.

“The World Games is a very important event for each of our athletes as it provides us with the opportunity to gain vital points towards qualification for the Rio games 2016. The mood of the team is very good and all are excited at the prospect of testing themselves against the world’s best Visually Impaired athletes. After this event the squad have two more chances to gain qualifying points and so the better they do here the less pressure is on for the final two events.”

Jack Hodgson (+100kg) also comes into the event off the back of a very successful season so far with bronze medals in the Hungary WC, VI German open and a silver in the Brazilian Grand Prix. Hodgson is currently in a qualifying position and will be looking to strengthen his ranking.

Natalie Greenhough (-70kg), currently ranked 7th in the world, will be hoping to gain as many points as possible after picking up medals at the Brazilian Grand Prix and German Open in the lead up to the games.

British Paralympic hopeful, Jono Drane, misses out on the games through a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury but is confident in his return, “Obviously being injured is a massive challenge, particularly one that requires an intensive 9 month rehabilitation period.

“Managing the emotions that come with injuries is vital. This is why I give myself the same three options everyday: one, give up; two, return as the same player I was; three, come back an even stronger player and hit the floor running.

“Many people will tell you in sport that sometimes injuries are the best thing to happen to them. That is, it’s an opportunity to cover those areas that have always needed improving, yet, on a regular basis they take for granted and ignored.

“My intentions remain the same as when I first started this journey, to do everything in my power to shape my best performance – Rio 2016, the rest is just an uncontrollable.”

Follow the action with @BritishJudo on twitter and tweet #GBJudoWorldGames to show your support for the team.