A nine-strong GB Judo team will take to the mat at the 2018 Junior European Judo Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria from Thursday 13 to Sunday 16 September.
Last year’s Junior European silver medallist Acelya Toprak (-57kg) is among those selected for Sofia in a team that includes five judoka making their Junior European Championships debut.
Toprak, Shelley Ludford (-78kg) and Harry Lovell-Hewitt (-90kg) have all topped the medal rostrum this year with gold medals at the Paks, Kaunas and Lignano European Cups respectively.
Ludford, Lovell-Hewitt and Yasmin Javadian (-52kg) have had the most successful years for GB Judo in terms of medals won on the IJF Junior World Tour and equivalent events with three each.
Javadian has impressed in her first year at Junior level with silver medals in Coimbra and La Coruna and bronze in Paks.
Lovell-Hewitt has stepped up well in his first full year at -90kg with silvers in Coimbra and Kaunas in addition to that Lignano gold.
Ludford only moved up to -78kg at the end of 2017 but has settled into the weight well with strong performances including silver at the Thuringia International Cup and bronze in Coimbra.
Josie Steele joins Toprak at -57kg with the Highland Budokan judoka having enjoyed a consistent 2018 with silver at the Thuringia International Cup and bronze at the Paks Junior European Cup.
2017 EYOF champion Amy Platten will make her Junior European debut in Sofia. The -48kg judoka won her first Junior European Cup medal this year with bronze in Kaunas.
Glossop’s Jaime-Leigh Whitaker (-44kg) will also make her debut in Bulgaria following silver medals at the Kaunas and Gdynia Junior European Cups.
Olivia Piechota (-52kg) has been rewarded for a consistent year with three fifth places including in Paks and Gdynia. This will be Piechota’s second Junior European Championships appearance.
At +100kg Wesley Greenidge won bronze as part of the GB Men’s team at the 2017 European Junior Team Championships. The two-time Junior British champion added a bronze medal at the St Petersburg Junior European Cup to his collection this year.
Nigel Donohue, British Judo Performance Director, said:
“As always, we’re very excited for the Junior European Championships in Bulgaria next month. Our Junior programme has been consistent over the last few years in having medalled at the last five Junior European Championships.
“This year we have a good of mix of older and younger athletes with more than half of the team making their Junior European Championships debut in Sofia.
“It’s really positive to see as well that a number of first year Juniors have progressed from the Cadet programme and performed well this year resulting in their selection.”
Thursday, September 13th Competition Day 1 – Individual
Women: -44/-48/-52 kg Men: -55/-60/-66 kg
Friday, September 14th Competition Day 2 – Individual
Women: -57/-63/-70 kg Men: -73/-81 kg
Saturday, September 15th Competition Day 3 – Individual
Women: -78/+78 kg Men: -90/-100/+100 kg
Sunday, September 16th Competition Day 4 – Mixed Teams