GB Judo Preview: 03 – 04 March 2018

The Beast from the East and Storm Emma may have struck Great Britain this week but GB judoka will be in action this weekend at the 2018 Prague European Open on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 March.

A seven strong GB Judo team will be looking to make their mark among a strong entry in the Czech Republic.

On Saturday David Ferguson (-60kg) will be aiming to add a second senior international medal to his collection following an Asian Open bronze in 2016.

The -60kg category includes a number of high-class fighters including former World Masters silver medallist Vincent Limare (FRA) and Junior European silver medallist Jorre Verstraeten (BEL).

At -66kg Gregg Varey will be making his return to competition following an elbow injury last year. The Team Bath judoka will have to get through some tough fights in Prague with WRL 14 Dzmitry Minkou (BEL) and current -60kg World Champion Naohisa Takato (JPN) among those entered.

The -73kg duo of Eric Ham and Dan Powell continue their push for greater experience at senior level. Powell finished seventh at the Sofia European Open last month while Ham has also placed at European Open level before.

The likes of Mongolia’s Tsogtbaatar Tsend-Ochir and Iran’s Mohammad Mohammadi will be ones to watch in this weight category as well.

Sunday will be an opportunity for James Hayes (-81kg), Adam Hoshall (-81kg) and Reece Calder (-90kg) to push for medal rostrum spots.

Hayes is fighting for the first time at international level since the U23 Europeans in Montenegro while Hoshal will be hoping to improve on his second-round exit at the Sofia European Open last month.

WRL 3 Saeid Mollaei (IRI) is the standout name at that weight while current U23 European champion Dorin Gotonoaga (MDA) is also one of the seeded athletes.

Calder achieved his best result to date with a bronze at the Belgrade European Open last year. The 24 year old will be up against a number of talented judoka including current Junior European champion Aurelien Diesse (FRA) and Rafal Kozlowski (POL).

Competition starts at 0900 (UK Time) on both days with the full draw on You can watch all the action live on with end of day medal updates on Twitter @BritishJudo