Judoka ready for test event

Six British judoka will have the opportunity to compete in the Olympic Park at the Aquece Rio International Judo Tournament, the Judo Test Event for the Olympic Games, on Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 March.

Taking place in the Carioca Arena 1 the Test Event will see a mix of Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 prospects stepping on the mat.

Elite Performance Coach Jean-Paul Bell is looking forward to the team competing in the Carioca Arena over the next two days:

“To be able to compete and train in the Olympic and Paralympic arenas provides the athletes with an exciting taste of what’s in store in the summer. It creates its own atmosphere and environment and is a valuable experience for both the staff and athletes for the summer and beyond.”

Ashley McKenzie will be hoping to bring his particularly attacking brand of judo as he steps up to -66kg for the tournament while he’ll be joined in the same weight by Junior European silver medallist Sam Hall.

Chelsie Giles (-52kg), who came fifth at last year’s  Junior World Championships, will also be stepping on the mat on Tuesday 8 alongside McKenzie and Hall.

On Wednesday 9 VI Judoka Jonathan Drane (-81kg) continues his return from injury and will be hoping to use this event as preparation for the Paralympics in September where he will represent ParalympicsGB.

Junior European bronze medallist Bekky Livesey (-63kg) will join Drane in looking to make a good impression in Rio as will Drane’s VI Judo teammate Jack Hodgson (+100kg) who will take on home favourite and World No. 1 Willians Araujo.

Elite Performance Coach Kate Howey said:

“We have brought a team here to Brazil to train and recce the test event, so that the players coming to the Olympics and Paralympics are used to the venue, the heat etc and we as a team are not caught out by anything unusual.

“The youngsters are here to gain valuable experience fighting and training in Brazil and soak up what an Olympic event will be like to prepare them for Tokyo and beyond.”

Follow @BritishJudo on Twitter for end of day results updates