Looking ahead to an Action-Packed Weekend

This weekend is action-packed with GB Judo fighters in action at the prestigious Paris Grand Slam and the Dubrovnik European Cup.

The IJF World Tour returns to its most familiar home, Paris, for what is undoubtedly the most intense competition on the judo calendar.

For many the Paris Grand Slam is on a par with some of the major championships, with the world’s best judoka consistently appearing in the iconic Bercy Stadium.

This year marks fifty years since the Paris Grand Slam, now the most celebrated Grand Slam event on the IJF World Tour, opened its doors to judo fans around the world.

With the 2024 Olympic Games scheduled to be staged in the French Capital, this year’s Paris Grand Slam promises to be extra special as this is the first-time fighters will compete in Paris this Olympic Cycle.

This year Paris will play host to future stars in addition to Tokyo 2020 and Rio 2016 medallists.

Four GB Judo female fighters will be in action over the two-day competition. Tokyo Olympian Lucy Renshall is the sole GB Judo representative competing in Paris on the opening day, in her first competition following the Tokyo Games.

Seeded 2nd in the -63kg category Renshall has an opening round bye and will face either Nadja Bazynski (GER) or Wilsa Gomes (POR) in Round 2. Gomes is a former European U23 Championship bronze medallist, whilst Bazynski recently finished 7th at the Zagreb Grand Prix.

Day two sees Zagreb Grand Prix silver medallist Kelly Petersen-Pollard make her Paris Grand Slam debut a topic she recently spoke about on the latest episode British Judo podcast The Final Block.

Kelly Petersen-Pollard (right) and Jemima Yeats-Brown have faced each other twice this year.

Petersen-Pollard is joined by Mima Yeats-Brown in the -70kg category. Yeats-Brown recently won silver at the Sarajevo European Open, behind teammate Petersen-Pollard. Both fighters enter Paris in seeded positions, Petersen-Pollard 5th and Yeats-Brown 6th.

Both Petersen-Pollard and Yeats-Brown have been drawn against French opponents in their opening round contests. Petersen-Pollard will face Melanie Dhaiby whilst Yeats-Brown will face Clemence Eme.

Eme was a bronze medallist at the 2017 World Junior Championships whilst Dhaiby and Petersen-Pollard last met at the 2016 Cadet European Championships.

There is another Team GB Tokyo Olympian competing in the -78kg category. Natalie Powell returns to competition for the first time since the Tokyo Games. Seeded 8th she will face Mao Izumi (JPN) in the opening round.

2019 Ekaterinburg Grand Slam winner Izumi returns to the IJF World Tour having last competed in November 2019, winning bronze at the Osaka Grand Slam.

Meanwhile, in Croatia the GB Judo team dominate the entry list with 39 fighters in action over the 2-day competition, more than that of hosts Croatia.

Emma Reid defeated Julie Pierret (FRA) to claim gold at the Sarajevo European Open last month

In the -78kg category, Emma Reid is a fighter who is in the form of her life, having picked up medals in all but one of her competitions this year. Sarajevo European Open gold was followed by Zagreb Grand Prix bronze, results that have seen her propel her way up the world rankings to 36th.

Following their recent 7th place finishes at the Zagreb Grand Prix, former European Youth Olympic Festival champion Amy Platten competes in the -48kg category whilst Acelya Toprak is also in action on the opening day of competition.

Sarajevo European Open bronze medallist Toprak, is joined by former European Junior Championship bronze medallist Bekky Livesey and Malin Wilson in the -57kg category.

Tatum Keen leads the -52kg entries following her recent appearances at the Junior World and European Championships. Keen made a fine return to competition earlier this year when she placed 5th at the Udine Junior European Cup.

Josh Giles and Dylan Munro, who have recently been selected to represent GB Judo at the upcoming European U23 Championships, lead a 7-strong contingent in the -60kg category.

Junior World and European representatives Charlie Young and Finlay Allan are joined by Alexander Short, Michael Fryer and Scott Thomson in the -66kg weight category which has 8 GB Judo competitors.

Sarajevo European Open day one medallists Acelya Toprak (bronze left), Daniel Powell (silver, middle) and Lele Nairne (bronze, right)

Sarajevo European Open silver medallist Daniel Powell leads the -73kg entries which includes GB Judo 2019 Cadet European Championship representative Ethan Nairne.

2019 Junior European Championship bronze medallist Lachlan Moorhead competes in the -81kg category alongside London 2012 Olympian Danny Williams.

2018 European U23 Championship silver medallist Jamal Petgrave competes in the -90kg whilst recent Junior European and World Championship representatives Oliver Barratt and Max Gregory compete in the -100kg category.

The draw for the Dubrovnik European Cup will start at 7pm this evening (Friday).

Click here to see the full GB Judo entry list

Action in Paris starts at 09:00am(BST) on Saturday and Sunday. With Final Block due to start at 16:00.

Meanwhile in Dubrovnik, Preliminary Rounds start at 8:00am with Final Block to follow.

British Judo will bring you a recap of how all your British fighters perform each day and you can follow the action on the British Judo social media channels. You can also watch the action live on the British Judo homepage.