This weekend will see a large number of Great Britain judoka in action across Europe as Croatia plays host to the Zagreb Grand Prix whilst a large junior team will travel to Hungary for the Paks Junior European Cup. Meanwhile, in Switzerland, a number of judoka heading to the Commonwealth Games next month will compete at the Winterthur European Cup.
Zagreb Grand Prix, Croatia
15 Great Britain judoka will join over 450 competitors from 67 countries fighting in the Croatian capital city for the third Paris Olympic qualification event since the process officially opened in Mongolia last month.
Six Great Britain judoka will be in action on the opening day.
Amy Platten recently claimed bronze at the Cluj-Napoca European Open. The -48kg judoka will face recent Tbilisi Grand Slam bronze medallist Katharina Tanzer (AUT) in her opening round contest.
Acelya Toprak finished 7th at the 2021 Zagreb Grand Prix. Competing in the -57kg category Toprak will face number 2 seed and current European Championship bronze medallist, Eteri Liparteliani (GEO) in Round 2, following an opening round bye.
Josh Giles and Dylan Munro will both compete in the -60kg category. Giles, who makes his Grand Prix debut, has an opening round bye before facing the victor of the Round 1 contest between Diego Rea (ITA) and Matheus Takati (BRA), whilst Munro, who also has an opening-round bye, will face number 1 seed and current European Champion Francisco Garrigos (ESP) in Round 2.
Charlie Young and Michael Fryer will also be making their Grand Prix debuts in Zagreb as they compete in the -66kg category. Fryer recently finished 7th at the Cluj-Napoca European Open following a bronze medal at the Madrid European Open whilst Young also won bronze at the Sarajevo European Cup.
Young will face Ayoub Elidrissi (QAT) in Round 2, following an opening round bye, whilst Fryer has an opening-round contest against Leon Dapic (CRO).
Jemima Yeats-Brown (-70kg) heads to Zagreb in golden form having topped the podium at the Cluj-Napoca European Open earlier this month. Yeats-Brown has been drawn against 2021 European U23 Champion, Martina Esposito (ITA) in the opening round.
Dan Powell and Eric Ham will compete in the -73kg category. Ham took bronze in Cluj-Napoca as he continues his return from injury. Ham’s best performance at the Grand Slam came in Zagreb in 2019 when he finished 7th.
Drawn in Pool D, Ham has an opening round bye and will face the winner of the opening round contest between Botond Toth (HUN) and Martin Hojak (SLO), whilst Powell will face 2020 European Championship bronze medallist, La Blouch (FRA) in his opening round contest.
Lachlan Moorhead will compete in his first Grand Prix event in Zagreb, the -81kg judoka, who is a bronze medallist at Grand Slam level, has an opening-round contest against Mohamed Rebahi (QAT).
Recent Tbilisi Grand Slam bronze medallist Natalie Powell enters the -78kg category seeded 6th. Powell is no stranger to the Grand Prix circuit having competed at 34 prior to this weekend.
Powell, has an opening round bye and will face the victor of the Round 1 contest between Lucia Perez-Gomez (ESP) and Linda Politi (ITA).
Jamal Petgrave will compete in the -90kg category. Drawn in Pool B, he has a Round 1 contest against Milan Randl (SVK).
In the -100kg category, Harry Lovell-Hewitt makes his Grand Prix debut. Lovell-Hewitt has been drawn against current European Championship silver medallist Piotr Kuczera (POL)in the opening round.
In the +100kg category Andrew McWatt and Wesley Greenidge both make their IJF World Tour debuts.
McWatt will face Yves Ndao (BEL) in Round 1, whilst Greenidge has an opening-round bye before facing the victor of the Round 1 contest against Ivaylo Dimitrov (BUL) and Marius Fizel (SVK).
Winterthur European Cup, Switzerland
18 Great Britain Home-Nation judoka will compete in the Axa Arena at the Winterthur European Cup this weekend.
Saturday will see 11 judoka in action.
In the -60kg category David Ferguson enters as 5th seed alongside 8th seed Neil MacDonald. Commonwealth Games bound Ferguson claimed silver at the Dubrovnik European Cup in April whilst MacDonald won bronze. They will be joined by Nordine Adrif and Daniel Rabbitt who will represent Wales at Birmingham 2022.
GB Judo European Championship representatives Alexander Short and Gregg Varey will compete in the -66kg category. Seeded 2nd and 3rd respectively the pair will also compete at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Kimberley Renicks (-52kg) and Birmingham 2022 bound Malin Wilson (-57kg) are both seeded 2nd in their respective categories whilst in the -63kg category, Jasmin Hacker-Jones, who is also selected to compete at the Commonwealth Games, is seeded 7th.
Also competing on the opening day are Josef Lynch and Daniel Pacitti in the -73kg category.
The second and final day will see 7 GB judoka in action – three of which will also represent Team Scotland at Birmingham 2022 next month. Rachel Tytler enters the -78kg category as 6th seed whilst Sarah Adlington is seeded 1st in the +78kg category. In the +100kg category, Chris Sherrington enters seeded 5th.
Also in action on day 2 are Scott Cusack (-81kg), Del Imrie (-90kg), Jason Davis (-90kg) and Cailin Calder who enters the -100kg category seeded 8th.
Paks Junior European Cup, Hungary
20 Great Britain junior judoka head to the small Hungarian town of Paks this weekend for the Paks Junior European Cup.
Commonwealth Games bound Billy Rodman will compete on the opening day in the -73kg category. Day two will see World Junior Championships bound Simone Cross (-70kg) in action. Cross enters seeded 8th.
Refereeing at the competition is Andy Tremlett who will be joined by Dan Harris who makes his international EJU Cup debut.
See the full GB Judo team here – https://www.ijf.org/competition/2347/judoka_nations?nation=gbr
Action in Zagreb will start at 8:00am (BST) on Friday and 09:00am on Saturday and Sunday. Final Block starts at 16:00 pm (BST) on each day.
Action in Winterthur and Paks will start at 8am (BST) on Saturday and Sunday with Final Block to follow.