British Judo’s Junior team will be looking to end the year on a high at this weekend’s 2016 Junior European Judo Championships in Malaga, Spain from 16-18 September.
An eleven strong team will compete in both the individual competitions on Friday and Saturday and the female team competition on Sunday with six of the team making their Junior European Championships debut in Malaga and Shelley Ludford coming in to compete in team competition.
While the majority of the team are first or second year Juniors, Head Coach Jamie Johnson is confident the players can perform on the day.
“We’ve had a really good five-week prep camp in the lead-up to the Europeans with all of the guys training together at the Centre of Excellence and there’s a real buzz among the players. There are no Junior Worlds this year too so we know the other European teams will be really focused on peaking in Malaga.
“It’s quite a young team with only two of players in their last as Juniors but all of them have medalled at Junior European Cups so we’re confident that if they perform on the day then the results will come.”
Lubjana Piovesana has continued where she left off last year at -63kg picking up three gold medals with her only defeat coming in the Coimbra Junior European Cup final back in March. Piovesana came fifth at the Europeans last year as a first year Junior and she will be hoping to make up for just missing out on the medals.
Chelsie Giles (-52kg) and Acelya Toprak (-57kg) have also enjoyed successful years with Giles taking gold in both Paks and Leibnitz while Toprak has impressed in her first year on the Junior circuit including gold in Paks as well as bronze at the highly regarded St Petersburg Junior European Cup.
On the men’s side Rhys Thompson has been the leading player this year with three medals including an impressive bronze at the Gdynia Junior European Cup.
Individual competition starts on Friday 16 September from 0900 UK time with live coverage via EJU.net and ippon.org. You can also follow the British Judo Live Blog for all the build-up and updates on British performances
Women: -44 / -48 / -52 / -57 kg Men: -55 / -60 /-66 / -73 kg
Women: -63 / -70 / -78 / +78 kg Men: -81 / -90 / -100 / +100 kg