First wave selections for European Judo Championships 2020

British Judo are pleased to announce the athletes selected during stage one selections for the European Championships in Prague from 1 – 3 May 2020

British Judo has had great success at the European Championships over the years and the team selected will be looking to continue that medal winning success.

Chelsie Giles (-52kg) was bronze medallist at the European Games in 2019. That performance was a catalyst for what was a fantastic second half of the year for Giles as she went on to finish 7th at the World Championships and collected bronze medals at the Zagreb Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.

Two-time World Championship medallist, Nekoda Smythe-Davis (-57kg), will be looking to claim her first European medal. She came close in 2016 narrowly missing out on bronze finishing 5th.

Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth medallist Sally Conway is selected alongside Gemma Howell in the -70kg category. Howell herself is a former European medallist, winning bronze in 2018. Both judoka currently sit in Olympic qualifying positions but there is only one place available for Tokyo selection, meaning both will be looking for a strong performance in Prague. Both judoka have started the year well, Conway winning gold at the Tel Aviv Grand Prix and Howell taking bronze at the Paris Grand Slam.

Natalie Powell (-78kg) is no stranger to the European Championships having medalled on three previous occasions, taking bronze in 2016, 2017 and 2018. She has started the year in golden form, topping the podium at the Tel Aviv Grand Prix.

For the men, Ashley McKenzie (-60kg) is a double European Championship bronze medallist, his first medal coming in 2013 and most recent in 2018.

Also selected is Max Stewart (-90kg), who will be appearing at his 3rd European Championships.

There were no selections at this stage for the -63kg category, this will take place on the 9th March following the Rabat Grand Prix.

Following the first wave selection, Performance Director Nigel Donohue said: “We are pleased to have selected a number of athletes at the first stage selection for the 2020 Senior European Championships in what is the last major championships ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and also a key event in the qualification for Games.

At this stage of the cycle, for athletes who have a pedigree and past performances at this level, the European Championships is another opportunity to win a major championship medal as they prepare for the Games, but for many, this event is incredibly important in the qualification process for the Olympic Games in that it counts as a ‘sixth’ result. I am expecting that, post Antalya Grand Prix, we will select an additional number of athletes at the second stage selection, to send a strong team to these Championships to potentially place and gain invaluable Olympic Qualification points”

The team will be finalised during the final selection meeting that will take place on week commencing 6th April.

European Championships stage one selections:

Weight Name Club
Under 60kg Ashley MCKENZIE Camberley
Under 90kg Max STEWART Stewart Judo Academy
Under 52kg Chelsie GILES Coventry
Under 57kg Nekoda SMYTHE-DAVIS Ealing
Under 70kg Sally CONWAY Edinburgh
Under 70kg Gemma HOWELL Wolverhampton
Under 78kg Natalie POWELL Irfon