Final five selected for the World Championships in Rio

Colin Oates, Sarah Adlington, Jan Gosiewski, Philip Awiti-Alcaraz and Nekoda Davis have been selected to represent Great Britain at the 2013 World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – starting a month today.

They join Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons, European Championship bronze medallist Ashley McKenzie, Natalie Powell and Sally Conway, who were pre-selected for the event last month.

Olympian Colin Oates’ comeback onto the world judo stage has saw him secure silver medals in last week’s Moscow Grand Slam plus the San Salvador Open in the -66kg weight category.

Sarah Adlington (+78kg) also shone with a bronze in Moscow last week. She has been consistently in the medals since returning from a lengthy absence due to injury, also winning a gold in San Salvador Continental Open and a silver medal at the London British Open.

Jan Gosiewski (-73kg) has also had an impressive year, setting the standard with a silver in Tallinn, Estonia for the European Open in June, also taking a bronze in the Warsaw European Open, Poland.

Both Philip Awiti-Alcaraz (-100kg) and Nekoda Davis (-57kg), stepped up to the senior squad this year, with impressive junior records. Nekoda in particular took bronze as her first medal in a senior continental open in Madrid, Spain last month and again in Libson, Portugal a week later. She has already beaten two players in the world top 20 and also represented GB at this year’s European Championships. Meanwhile, Philip won the European Cup in Sarajevo, Bosnia earlier this year and took bronze in Kiev. He is also a four time junior cup gold medallist.

This event marks an important step for them both in their debut senior year and could set them on an Olympic journey to Rio.

Commenting on the selections, Performance Director Nigel Donohue said: “This is strong team representing Great Britain at the 2013 World Championships. It has a quality mix of experienced players, with a proven track record at world level, and some young up and coming players who we believe have huge potential and will thrive on the world stage.

“The GB programme is going from strength to strength and over the recent months we have seen some significant performances across the programme winning at every level. The team going to Rio is in very good shape to build on this recent success. The 10 week preparation programme is well on track and has seen this team engage in high quality training and competition. As we enter the final four weeks, we will see them step up a level in readiness to perform at their optimum at the World Championships. I am more than confident in the performance team and players that we will deliver in Rio.”

In summary, the full team that will be representing Great Britain at the World Championships in Rio, according to weight category, local club and training centres, are as follows:

Under 57kg Nekoda Davis, Ealing, England Programme
Under 70kg Sally Conway, Edinburgh, Ratho
Under 78kg Gemma Gibbons, Metro, Ratho
Under 78kg Natalie Powell, Irfon, Cardiff
Over 78kg Sarah Adlington, Edinburgh, Ratho
Under 60kg Ashley McKenzie, Camberley, Camberley
Under 66kg Colin Oates, Kumo, Ratho
Under 73kg Jan Gosiewski, Team Bath, Bath
Under 100kg Philip Awiti-Alcaraz, Enfield, England Programme

Words by Donna Richardson
Image credit – Zahony