GB Judo Preview: 2017 U23 European Championships
A five-strong GB Judo team will take to the mat in Podgorica, Montenegro this weekend for the 2017 Under-23 European Championships from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 November.
GB Judo have enjoyed a lot of success at the Under-23s over the last two years including -63kg gold medals for Amy Livesey (2015) and Lucy Renshall (2016). There was also -70kg silver for Jemima Yeats-Brown and +78kg bronze for Jodie Myers in 2016.
On Friday, Ford Judo Club’s Kelly Staddon (-48kg) will be looking to improve on her seventh-place finish at last year’s championship in Tel Aviv.
The current British Champion has enjoyed some of her best results to date including silver at the Belgrade European Open and gold at the Saarbruecken Senior European Cup.
Staddon will take on Elisa Adrasti (ITA) in her first contest of the day.
Saturday will see the three middleweights in action; Eric Ham (-73kg), Dan Powell (-73kg) and James Hayes (-81kg).
All three played key roles in the Men’s Team bronze at the Junior European Championships in Maribor in September and they will be hoping to bring that form to the mat in Montenegro.
Glossop’s Ham has shown his ability to perform at senior level with solid showings at the Rome European Open and Orenburg Senior European Cup. Bronze medals at the Leibnitz and Arad Junior European Cup’s also highlighted his ability in both tachiwaza and newaza.
The 20 year old will face Cornel Andries (MDA) in the first round.
Powell, like Ham and Hayes, is moving into the senior ranks in 2018. The Midlands judoka won bronze medals at the St Petersburg and Paks Junior European Cups, two of the stronger events on the Junior circuit.
He backed that up with a seventh place at the Junior European Championships in Maribor, his second top eight finish at that level.
Turkey’s Murat Bektas will be his first opponent of the day.
Hayes has performed well in his first full year at -81kg and showed what he can do at this weight with bronze at the Gdynia Junior European Cup.
The Bradley Stoke judoka reached the last 16 at the Junior European Championships and will have Novo Raicevic (MNE) in his first contest of the day.
Emma Reid (-78kg) will be fighting in her second European Championships this year when she takes to the mat on Sunday.
Back in July, Reid won silver at the European University Championships in Coimbra and she has had some solid results this year including a fifth at the Bratislava Senior European Cup and sevenths at the Belgrade and Prague European Opens.
The British judoka will take on Giorgia Stangherlin (ITA) in the first round.
Competition is set to start at 1000 UK time on each day. Check out the full draw and results at ippon.org. Follow @BritishJudo on Twitter for live updates and all the build-up throughout the weekend.