Busy week of international competitions for GB judoka

This week will see GB judoka compete across Europe as our senior team are in action at the Tel Aviv Grand Slam from Thursday. This weekend will see a large number of cadets in action at the Fuengirola Cadet European Cup and Heidelberg plays host to the IBSA German Open.

Tel Aviv Grand Slam

The IJF Judo World Tour heads to Israel this week for the staging of the third annual Tel Aviv Grand Slam. GB judoka have enjoyed many successful years competing in Israel; Chelsie Giles (Coventry Judo Club; Simon Moss) recently claimed silver at the Jerusalem Masters in December – a result that saw her promoted to world number one.

Thursday 16th – Preliminary Rounds 08:00 (GMT) | Final Block 15:00

Giles will be in action on the opening day. The 2021 Tel Aviv Grand Slam champion will be in action in the -52kg category and enters as the number one seed.

Following an opening-round bye, Giles will face either Tinka Easton (AUS) or Ariane Toro-Soler (ESP) in the second round.

Acelya Toprak (Metro JC/ Relentless Judo; Darren Hawney/ Fitzroy Davies) (pictured above) and Nekoda Davis (Ealing Judo Club; Jo Crowley) will both compete in the -57kg category.

Davis last competed in Tel Aviv in 2019, when still operating as a Grand Prix, winning bronze. Davis won a bronze medal at her first event of the year in Portugal in January.

Both Davis and Toprak have opening round byes before facing 4th seed Timna Nelson-Levy (ISR) and Ivelina Ilieva (BUL) respectively.

Michael Fryer (Rush Judo; Laurie Rush) competes at his third Grand Slam event in what will be his first competition of the year.

The -66kg judoka will face 6th seed Tai Flicker (ISR) in the opening round.

Friday 17th – Preliminary Rounds 08:00 (GMT) | Final Block 15:00

Lucy Renshall (SKK; Pete Blood) and Gemma Howell (Wolverhampton JC; Bill Kelly) will compete in the -63kg category.

2022 European Champion, Howell, won silver in 2022 and makes her 2023 season debut in Tel Aviv following an elbow injury.

Five-time Grand Slam champion, Renshall enters as the number two seed and will face either Florentina Ivanescu (ROU) or Kerem Primo (ISR) in round two, following an opening-round bye.

Howell will face 8th seed Laura Fazliu (KOS) in the opening round in what is a repeat of the 2022 European Championship final.

2022 Tel Aviv Grand Slam bronze medallist Kelly Petersen-Pollard (Hardy Spicer; Fitzroy Davies) is joined by 2019 Tel Aviv Grand Prix bronze medallist Jemima Yeats-Brown (Ryecroft Judokwai; Ian Oliver) in the -70kg category.

Competing at her third Tel Aviv Grand Slam, fifth seed Petersen-Pollard has been drawn against Rachael Hawkes (IRL) in the opening round.

Yeats-Brown has been drawn in Pool D and has an opening-round contest against Aleksandra Samardzic (BIH).

In the -73kg category, Eric Ham (Glossop JC; Geoff Ham) makes his third appearance in Tel Aviv.

Competing in his third international event of the year, Ham has been drawn in Pool C and will face Parahat Nazarov (TKM) in the second round following an opening-round bye.

Following a 7th place finish at the Portugal Grand Prix last month, Lachlan Moorhead (Sheffield JC; Matt Moorhead) (pictured above) competes in the -81kg category.

Making his Tel Aviv Grand Slam debut, 7th seed Moorhead has an opening round bye and will face either Medickson Del Orbe Cortorreal (DOM) or Anri Egutidze (POR) in round two.

Saturday 18th – Preliminary Rounds 09:00 (GMT) | Final Block 15:00

2020 Tel Aviv Grand Prix champion Natalie Powell (Irfon JC) (feature image) is joined by Emma Reid (Redbridge JC; Steve Sandy) in the -78kg category.

Powell recently finished 7th at the Paris Grand Slam and enters Tel Aviv as the 7th seed.

Powell has an opening round bye before facing former IJF Masters champion Fanny Estelle Posvite (FRA) in round two.

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam champion, Reid competes at her second Tel Aviv Grand Slam. Drawn in Pool B, she will face Samanta Soares (BRA) in the opening round.

Jamal Petgrave (Westcroft JC; Andy Ede) will make his Tel Aviv Grand Slam debut when he takes to the mat in the -90kg category.

Drawn in Pool D, Petgrave will face Robert Florentino (DOM) in the opening round.

Lovell-Hewitt won silver at the 2023 Sofia European Open

Following his silver medal at last weekend’s Sofia European Open, Harry Lovell-Hewitt (Stroud JC; Richard Neale) will be in action in the -100kg category.

Lovell-Hewitt will face Louis Mai (GER) in the opening-round contest in Pool D.

You can watch all the action from the Tel Aviv Grand Slam LIVE at live.ijf.org each day.

Fuengirola Cadet European Cup 

40 GB cadet judoka will make the journey to Fuengirola, a small town on the Costa del Sol this weekend for the Cadet European Cup.

Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th – Preliminary Rounds 08:00 (GMT) | Final Block to follow

Julia Marczak (-70kg) makes her 2023 international debut. The 2022 Gyor Cadet European Cup champion is joined by Gyor silver medallist Chloe Link who competes in the -57kg category.

Kenady Raine (-57kg) won silver at the Naples Cadet European Cup last weekend and will be in action again this weekend. Another medallist from Naples last weekend will also be in action as Irakli Goginashvili competes in the -66kg category.

5th place finishers in Naples Kyras Chambers-Edutie (-66kg), Peter Davies (-66kg) and Finlay Strang (-73kg) will also be back in action. Jesse Chraniuk (-55kg) also finished 5th last weekend, is a Cadet European Cup bronze medallist as he made the podium in Gyor in 2022.

Ross McWatt (-60kg), Eden Heffernan (-73kg) and Sophie McMillan (-63kg) all finished 5th in Fuengirola in 2022 and will be in action again this weekend.

View the full GB Judo team here

You can watch all the action from the Fuengirola Cadet European Cup LIVE on the EJU YouTube channel each day

IBSA German Open, Heidelberg

9 GB judoka made up of the Paralympic Programme and Paralympic Potential Programme will travel to the German city of Heidelberg for the IBSA Judo German Open.

Saturday 18th – Preliminary Rounds: Cadet/Juniors 10:00 (GMT) Seniors 11:00 | Final Block 15:00 (TBC)

In the Cadet and Junior event Murray McConnell and Jacobean Edwards will be in action in the J1 -60kg and J2 -66kg categories respectively.

In the women’s event, Emily Betts is joined by Evie Gormley and they will compete in the J2 -70kg and J1 -57kg categories respectively.

Following his recent promotion to the top of the world rankings, after his gold medal at the IBSA Portugal Grand Prix, Chris Skelley (Haltemprice; Ian Johns) will be in action in the J2 +90kg category.

IBSA Portugal Grand Prix bronze medallists Evan Molloy (Devizes JC; Mark Burbridge) and Daniel Powell will compete in the J2 -90kg and J1 -90kg categories respectively.

Connah Anders (Hardy Spicer; Fitzroy Davies) and Kirsten Taylor (Tayside JC; David Scobie) will also compete in the J1 -73kg and J2 +70kg categories respectively.

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