Maribor, Slovenia is the latest stop for our GB juniors as they take to the mat for the 2017 Junior European Championships from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 September.
A twelve strong GB Judo team will be in action across the three days of competition. 11 of the team will be fighting in the individual competition on Friday and Saturday, with Stuart McWatt (-81kg) fighting in the team event on Sunday.
Every member of the team fighting in the individuals has medalled at Junior European Cup level this year with six currently ranked inside the world top ten in their respective weights at Junior level.
GB Elite Performance Coach Matt Purssey said:
“There is a depth of quality to the Junior European Championships, which is what we expected & hoped for. Our team has prepared very well & we are excited to test ourselves against the best in Europe.
“The goal of every member of the team is to perform to the best of their ability and, if we can do this, the results will take care of themselves.”
Day one (Friday 15) will see six of the team in action including Chelsie Giles (-52kg) and Acelya Toprak (-57kg). Giles has enjoyed exposure to senior competition over the last year including making her debut at the 2017 European Championships in Warsaw, losing to Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi. The Coventry judoka finished seventh at last year’s Junior Europeans and she will be aiming to improve upon that Maribor.
Toprak finished fifth at least year’s Junior Europeans and will be one of the top seeds for the competition. The Metro judoka has won medals at two of the toughest Junior European Cups this year with gold in Leibnitz and a bronze at St Petersburg.
Joining Giles at -52kg is Olivia Piechota who has moved up from -48kg this year. The current -52kg British Junior champion has won two Junior European Cup medals this year including a hard won bronze in Paks in July.
2016 Junior European silver medallist Neil MacDonald will be hoping to back-up his result from last year. The -60kg judoka has also shown he can medal at senior level, winning a bronze at the Glasgow European Open in 2016.
-73kg duo Dan Powell and Eric Ham make up the rest of the GB contingent on Friday with both judoka having enjoyed solid 2017s. Powell, who finished seventh at last year’s Junior Europeans, has medalled at the St Petersburg and Paks Junior European Cups this year.
Meanwhile Glossop’s Eric Ham has also shown his ability to medal on the IJF Junior World Tour this year with bronze medals in Leibnitz and Arad.
Day Two (Saturday 16) will be the turn of the middle and heavyweight judoka including Lubjana Piovesana (-63kg) and Jamal Petgrave (-90kg).
Piovesana has enjoyed a good year at both Senior and Junior level including winning bronze medals at the Antalya and Cancun Grand Prix. This has seen her move up to her current ranking of 36 in the world at senior level, one of four GB judoka inside the world top 50.
Petgrave has been GB’s most successful judoka on the Junior circuit this year including gold medals at the Bremen Masters and Berlin Junior European Cup. His U-21 gold in Bremen was the first by a GB judoka since Craig Fallon in 2001.
Wesley Greenidge (+100kg) has shown he can consistently medal at this level now with a gold medal in La Coruna as well as strong silver medals in Coimbra and Berlin. The Enfield judoka will be making his debut at this year’s Junior European Championships.
Shelley Ludford will be making her debut in the individual competition having fought in the team event last year. The -70kg judoka won her first Junior European Cup medal in La Coruna this year and just missed out in Coimbra and Paks, finishing fifth both times.
James Hayes (-81kg) will also be making his Junior European Cup debut in Maribor. Hayes won his first Junior European Cup medal this year with a bronze in Gdynia having moved up from -73kg over the last 18 months.
On Sunday 17 GB Judo will be entered in both the male and female team events. Last year the female team just missed out on a bronze medal, losing to France while the men lost to Georgia in the first round.
Watch all of the action live on eju.net and britishjudo.org.uk and follow @BritishJudo on Twitter for live updates throughout the weekend. Full draw can be found at ippon.org
(All times below UK)
|Women: -44 / -48 / -52 / -57 kg
Men: -55 / -60 /-66 / -73 kg
|09:00 Start Preliminary Round
15:30 Final Block
|Women: -63 / -70 / -78 / +78 kg
Men: -81 / -90 / -100 / +100 kg
|09:00 Start Preliminary Round
15:00 Final Block
|Sunday, 17th September||Team event||10:00 Start Preliminary Round
14:30 Final Block