Commonwealth Judo – Day One – Weight-by-Weight

As we prepare to get underway at SECC on day one of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, we take a brief look at the competitors in each weight category.

Men’s -60kg

In Pool A, Scotland’s former World bronze medallist John Buchanan makes his return at the age of 38. Bronze medals at three European Cups during the qualifying period show he still has what it takes to compete at this level. A win over Mauritian Pascal Laurent, who took a bronze at last year’s African Open and seventh in this year’s African Championship, would set up an early clash with 2013 European bronze medallist and twice IJF World Tour Bronze medallist Ashley McKenzie of England who will be favourite, ranked 17th in the world.

Pool B sees, Neuso Sigauque of Mozambique who took a silver in the 2013 African Open. 18 year old Zambian William Kalunga took a fifth place at the African U21 Championships in Algiers in 2013. Cameroon’s Bernadin Tsala Tsala at just 19 years of age lost out in last month’s African Championships to an eventual bronze medallist. Dominic Agudoo of Ghana fought on the IJF World Tour at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

In Pool C, Australian Tom Pappas will be a threat having won April’s Oceanic Championship and also took a bronze medal at the Oceanic Open in Apia 2013 and seventh in the 2013 Miami Grand Prix. He’s faced Ashley McKenzie once previously losing out in the quarter final of the 2012 Continental Open in Apia. India’s Navjot Chana is a four time national champion, also taking seventh place finishes at the Asian Games in his career. 17 year old Christos Trikomitis of Cyprus took a bronze medal at last year’s Cadet European Cup in Coimbra. Wales hopeful Brandon Dodge caused a stir in 2012 when he won the British Championships, beating GB number one Ashley McKenzie and Scotland’s James Millar to take a surprise gold medal. His best international result was a bronze medal in the 2011 Malaga European Cup. He also took silver in the Northern Ireland Open and gold in the recent Kent International at Crystal Palace.

In pool D is 22 year old South African Daniel Le Grange who took an African Open gold in 2013 and fifth in this year’s African Championships. Tanzania will be represented by Ahmed Said Magogo. Tony Lomo fights for the Solomon Islands with a bronze at the 2012 Oceania Championships being his best result. Rounding out the group is Ghana’s Razak Abugiri.

Men’s -66kg

England’s Colin Oates comes into the event as world number eight and in strong form, having taken a bronze in the Samsun Grand Prix,  seventh in the Tyumen Grand Slam and his first Grand Slam gold medal in Baku in May. 18 year old Mohd Farhan Uzair Mohd Fikri of Malaysia is a national champion who lost out in the repechage of the 2013 Asian youth games. Also in the group is Abubakari Mussa Nzige of Tanzania, Kenya’s Anthony Kivuti Njagi and Asa Weithers of Barbados who has experience on the big stage having competed at both the 2011 and 2013 World Championships. Jeremy Saywell is a 21 year old from Malta who most recently won a gold medal in the Kent International at Crystal palace and a bronze at the 2012 Commonwealth Judo Championship in Cardiff. He’s also a Junior European Cup winner and competed in the 2011 World Championships. India’s Manjeet Nandal is a former Indian Junior champion and has competed on the IJF World Tour in Abu Dhabi and Tashkent, as well as the 2011 World Championships.

In pool B is Canadian Antoine Bouchard who at the age of 19 is Canadian Senior Champion and also won the Pan American Open in San Salvador last month. He took a fifth place at Havana Grand Prix and a silver at last weekend’s Junior European Cup in Wroclaw. 19-year-old Ben Magagula of Swaziland competed at the 2013 World Championships in Rio. Cameroon’s Dieudonne Nama Etoga took a bronze medal in March’s Yaounde International Tournament. Manuatu competitor Joe Mahit reached the quarter final of the Oceanic Championships in 2013 as well as fighting at the World Championships. Another athlete with World Championship experience is Darcy Rahming of the Bahamas. Completing the pool is Scotland’s James Millar whose wealth of experience has seen him take a range of Continental Opens and six national titles.

Steve Brown of Australia is the first athlete in Pool C and has a wealth of experience to his name having won eight Oceania Championship medals. He has also picked up a trio of continental open medals. Cyprus athlete Andreas Krassas is a past Junior European Cup winner whilst Alex Amoako of Ghana took a fifth at the 2011 African Championships. Rexly Theuil of Vanuatu is another athlete who represented his country at the 2013 World Championships. Zambian Punza Mathews took a win in the Commonwealth Championships in Derry back in 2006 whilst Andrew Thomas Mluga will represent Tanzania.

In pool D, Siyabulela Mabulu of South Africa is a twice African Championship bronze medallist and took silver at the African Open in Port Louis. Maestag-based Jamie MacDonald will represent Team Wales. 37 year old Leslie Smith will represent Sierra Leone as National Champion and Papua New Guinea athlete Raymond Ovinou has taken three Oceanic bronze medals. Bruno Luzia of Mozambique has competed on the IJF World Tour in the Paris Grand Slam back in 2010 and completing the line up is Emmanuel Ndawu of Malawi.

Women’s -48kg

Pool A sees Australia’s Chloe Rayner who at the age of 17 is already three-time Oceanic Champion and has taken silver at the Apia Continental Open. Another young athlete Abigail Chindele of Zambia is 19 years old and took bronze at the African Junior Championships.

In Pool B, another Australian Amy Meyer is a Continental Championship and Continental Open bronze medallist. India’s Sushila Likmabam took gold at the Asian U17 Championships and bronze at last years Asian U23 championships, whilst Marie Medza Effa will represent Cameroon.

Chanel Kavanagh of New Zealand in Pool C is a multiple national champion, Oceanic silver medallist and Apia Open bronze medallist. Bahamas athlete Onoh Obasi Okey competed at the World Championships in Rio.

The final pool sees Scotland’s Kim Renicks going for gold having taken a win in the Oceanic Open in Apia and also a fifth place in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The final athlete is Marcelle Monabang representing Cameroon.

Women’s -52kg

Hannah Trotter leads Pool A as a multiple Australian National and Continental Champion and a Continental Open medallist. Indian Kalpana Thoudam is an IJF World Tour medallist having taken bronze at the 2013 Tashkent Grand Prix and fifth in the ultra-competitive Qingdao Grand Prix.

Pool B, sees home Scottish hope Louise Renicks, an Apia Open winner and silver medallist at both of the two Pan American Opens earlier this year. 21 year old Audree Francis-Methot is Canadian champion and a former Pan American Open winner.

In Pool C, Lisa Kearney will represent Northern Ireland having competed at London 2012 at -48kg. She is a multiple Continental Open winner and has placings at IJF World Tour events across the past few years. 19 year old South African Sinothando Mva is an African Junior bronze medallist.

Pool D sees African Championship silver medallist Christianne Legentil along with two home country athletes. Kelly Edwards of England and Welsh athlete Jade Lewis will meet in the first round with the former a London 2012 Olympian and the latter a junior European Cup winner and senior silver medallist.

Women’s -57kg

Pool A contains New Zealander Darcena Manuel, an reigning Oceanic Champion and Scotland’s  Stephanie Inglis who most recently took a silver medal in Apia and a fifth place at the Pan American Open in Montevideo – the two met in Apia where Inglis was victorious. Rounding out the pool is Nik Norlydiawati Nik Azman of Malaysia.

In Pool B, Cameroon’s Paule Sitchaping took bronze in this year’s African Championships whilst 19 year old Sarah Sylva took bronze at last year’s African Open in Port Louis.

Scotland’s Connie Ramsay won the Pan American Open in Buenos Aires in 2013 and got 7th at two Grand Prix events. She most recently took European Cup bronze in Celje Podcetrtek. Challenging her in Pool C is Canadian Jessica Klimkait who is the reigning cadet World Champion and Shivani of India.

Pool D sees England’s Nekoda Davis who represented GB at the World and European Championships last year and is a former Junior European bronze medallist. Welsh judoka Kirsty Powell is a Junior European Cup silver medallist and the group is completed by Cynthia Rahming of the Bahamas who represented her country in the Youth Olympics in Singapore.