GB Judo Preview: 2017 Junior World Championships
This week sees the GB Judo Junior team take to tatami in Zagreb, Croatia for the 2017 Junior World Championships from Wednesday 18 to Sunday 22 October.
The seven-strong team will be looking to continue their strong form on the IJF Junior World circuit which has seen them medal at a number of the strongest competitions including the Junior European Championships last month.
Three of the team in Chelsie Giles (-52kg), Lubjana Piovesana (-63kg) and Stuart McWatt (-81kg) fought at the 2015 Junior World Championships in Abu Dhabi and they will be aiming to use that experience to good effect in Croatia. Lucy Renshall won bronze in Abu Dhabi two years ago at -63kg, following on from the silver and bronze won a year earlier by Ebony Drysdale-Daley (-70kg) and Jemima Yeats-Brown (-63kg).
With no judoka in action on day one the first time we’ll see GB Judo on the mat will be Thursday 19 October. Joining Giles that day will be Acelya Toprak (-57kg) and Dan Powell (-73kg).
Toprak will be going in off the back of a very successful September that saw her take home silver at the Junior European Championships and gold at the Belgrade European Open. The Leibnitz Junior European Cup gold medallist is one of the top seeds and has a bye into the second round. She’ll face the winner of Altantsetseg Batsukh (MGL) and Mina Libeer (BEL).
Giles has gained experience at both senior and junior level over the last 12 months including appearances at the 2017 Senior European Championships and Tbilisi Grand Prix, where she finished seventh. The Coventry judoka came fifth in Abu Dhabi two years ago and she will face Nurzhamal Zharmanova (KAZ) or Amber Rhyeul (BEL) in the second round.
Powell has picked up some impressive results in 2017 including bronze medals at the St Petersburg and Paks Junior European Cups. The Midlands judoka also helped the GB Judo Men’s team win bronze at the Junior European Championships in Maribor last month. Moldova’s Ion Nacu will be his opponent in the first round.
Day three (Friday 19) will see three more of the GB Judo team in action with Piovesana, McWatt and Petgrave looking to leave their best performance out on the tatami.
Piovesana has shown her ability to perform at both senior and junior level in 2017. Bronze medals at the Antalya and Cancun Grand Prix have seen her move inside the World Top 40 in the senior rankings while gold at the Arad Junior European Cup was the eighth of her career. The 20 year old finished fifth two years ago and will face either Khadidja Saidi (ALG) or Mariia Gryzlova (RUS) in her first contest.
Garioch judoka McWatt has had a strong return to judo following a second knee operation. McWatt missed the better part of two years of competition but was a key performer as the GB Judo Men’s team won bronze in Maribor and came seventh on his Grand Prix debut in Zagreb last month. Razvan Ciolan (ROU) will be his opponent in the first round on Friday.
Westcroft’s Jamal Petgrave has been one of the standout performers for GB Judo in 2017. A bronze medal at the Junior European Championships came off the back of five other Junior medals including golds at the Bremen Masters and Berlin Junior European Cup. The dynamic judoka will be making his debut at the Junior World Championships on Friday and will face Youngchan Park (KOR) or Abdel Rahman Daoud (JOR) in the second round.
On the final day of individual competition (Saturday 21) London heavyweight Wesley Greenidge will make his debut at +100kg. The 19 year old has had some good results this year including gold at the La Coruna Junior European Cup and silver at the Berlin Junior European Cup. Greenidge was also a member of the GB Judo Men’s team that won bronze at the Junior Europeans. He will take on Mongolia’s Lkhagvadorj Batjargal first up.
Competition starts at 0900 UK time on each day with live coverage via britishjudo.org.uk and live.ijf.org. Check the full draw on ippon.org and follow @BritishJudo on Twitter for build-up and updates throughout the day.