GB Judo Preview: 22 – 23 July 2017

The countdown to the World Championships next month taking place in just over a months time in Hungary continues as two more squad members take to the mat.

Ben Fletcher (-100kg) and Aaron Turner (-73kg), travel to Belarus for the Minsk European Open alongside Neil Schofield (+100kg) and will have hopes of going deep into the competition in order to build momentum ahead of judos flagship event in August.

Fletcher is fresh off a silver medal won at the Cancun Grand Prix in June to complement the bronze medal collected at the Rome European Open in February. It was an impressive day on the mat in Mexico for the Team Bath judoka as he defeated Cuban World No.9 Jose Armenteros in the semi final before being defeated by Israeli World No.12 Peter Paltchik in the final.

Aaron Turner (-73kg) will not take part in the individual event at the World Championships but will be looking to make his mark as GB Judo enter the mixed team event for the first team following its inclusion in the Olympic programme, beginning in Tokyo. The 25 year old will be looking for his first medal of the season following a first round exit at the Saarbrucken European Cup last week in Germany at the hands of Germany’s Lukas Vennekold.

Neil Schofield will join them on the mat in his first appearance since the African Open in Casablanca back in March. Schofield last medalled in an international event back in October 2015 when he claimed a silver medal in Malaga.

Prague Junior European Cup

It what was the perfect weekend for the junior squad last week in Hungary, the squad will be looking to continue their momentum. Last Saturday saw all GB athletes competing reach the final block, resulting in a host of medals won alongside some credible fifth placed finishes.

Eric Ham (-73kg), Daniel Powell (-73kg), Lele Nairne (-57kg), Kiera Bateman (-57kg) and Olivia Spellman (-63kg) will be flying the British flag in the Czech Republic.

Dan Powell will be hoping to continue his impressive recent form

Eric Ham (-73kg) could count himself unlucky as he defeated some good judoka during the morning session in Germany including the likes of Gabor Berlinger (HUN) and Kristian Nikollbibaj (SUI) before falling to the Francois Gauthier Drapeau (CAN). Daniel Powell will be joining Ham in -73kg as he looks to build on his bronze medal from the same competition. Two medals in two medals for Powell sees him entering the weekend looking for more success.

Lele Nairne and Kiera Bateman will also be competing in the same -57kg category. Nairne was unlucky last week as she lost the bronze medal contest to Hungary’s Kitti Kovacs. She had breezed through the morning winning her opening three contests without conceding a score. She lost to Nora Bannenberg (GER) in the semi final before losing to Kovacs. Bateman has recently made the step up in both competition and weight category following a consistent career to date at Cadet level in the -48kg and -52kg weight categories. She will be hoping for a smooth transition to Junior level as she looks to win her first European judo medal.

Spellman is also making the transition up to Juniors following her debut at the level earlier this month at the Gdynia (POL) European Cup in July. She lost in the first round to Russia’s Renata Zachova but will be hoping to make a mark on the competition in Prague.

Competition for the seniors will begin at 0600 UK time (0900 local) and  the juniors starts on both days at 0800 UK time (0900 local).

Follow @BritishJudo on Twitter throughout the weekend for GB Judo end of day medal updates from both competitions