The Minsk 2019 European Games officially opens today, and British Judo has 12 athletes aiming to become European Champions and further stake a claim for Team GB selection to next years Tokyo Olympic Games.
The second iteration of the European Games will be held in the Belarussian capital from 21st – 30th June, with the Opening Ceremony this evening with Sally Conway leading Team GB as flag bearer.
Minsk 2019 represents the last senior multi-sport event prior to next summer’s Olympic Games and will provide invaluable experience for the British athletes hoping to travel to Tokyo as part of Team GB.
The European Games double as the usual European Judo Championships and offers important ranking points for athletes aiming for Olympic qualification. Selected in the GB team is Rio Olympic Games bronze medallist Sally Conway.
British Judo Performance Director, Nigel Donohue has said: ‘The European Games is essentially our European Championships, but with the added value that we get to compete under the TEAM GB banner in a multi-sport environment, which is great preparation for both athletes and staff in terms of trialling our processes for Tokyo 2020.
We have selected a strong team for these Games. The Women, in particular, have performed consistently at the highest level over the last few years and all 8 are capable of performing and being in and around the medals. The men are making steady progress. Ashley McKenzie has a pedigree at this level and is a current European Bronze medallist. Stuart McWatt, Frazer Chamberlain and Max Stewart, have shown their potential in a number of Grand Prix’s and Grand Slams this year and we now expect a strong performance from them in a Games event.
We must not forget though that this is essentially our European Championships and a key event in the Tokyo Olympic qualification process. We must remain focussed in preparing for a strong performance at these Championships, whist using the Games mode environment as an opportunity to learn in readiness for Tokyo 2020.’
Current European Championship bronze medallist, Lucy Renshall said: “Multi-sport Games are always amazing experiences for athletes, not just in helping us prepare for the Olympic Games, but also special in how they bring numerous sports together to be part of one team at one event. The fact that the Games double up as our European Judo Championships gives us an extra incentive to perform and put a great marker down for the season and our preparations for Tokyo 2020.”
As with Baku four years previously, BT Sport has secured the UK and Republic of Ireland rights to broadcast action from the European Games this summer and will provide daily, live coverage of the Games throughout each day of the competition. A full breakdown of the judo broadcast schedule can be viewed here.
Speaking about the Games, Head of BT Sport, Simon Green, said: “The European Games will provide BT Sport viewers an early insight into Team GB stars’ prospects for the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympic Games. With Minsk 2019 offering qualification opportunities for numerous disciplines in Tokyo and acting as the official European championships for a range of other sports, the European Games will provide a competitive edge to the sporting summer across a wide range of sports.”
The GB Judo athlete delegation for Minsk 2019 is below and for further information about Team GB at the Minsk 2019 European Games, please contact Thomas Rowland: email@example.com or +44 (0) 20 7842 5719:
Ashley McKENZIE (-60kg)
Stuart McWATT (-81kg)
Frazer CHAMBERLAIN (-90kg)
Max STEWART (-90kg)
Chelsie GILES (-52kg)
Lucy RENSHALL (-63kg)
Alice SCHLESINGER (-63kg)
Sally CONWAY (-70kg)
Gemma HOWELL (-70kg)
Natalie POWELL (-78kg)
Jemima YEATS-BROWN (-78kg)
Sarah ADLINGTON (+78kg)