A team of three Great Britain athletes head to Tyumen, Russia this weekend for one of the top ranking judo events of the year.
The International Judo Federation World Masters event is a highlight of the international calendar with only the top 16 athletes in the world in each weight category invited to take part.
The event provides athletes an opportunity to cement their top 16 place and push for a top eight ranking in the lead up to the 2013 World Championships in Rio.
The GB squad includes -60kg 2013 European Bronze Medallist Ashley McKenzie, 23, who goes into the event in strong form, following up his career best result with a fifth place at the Baku Grand Slam which secured his place in Tyumen. The Londoner trains full-time at Camberley Judo Club.
Also stepping onto the mat for Great Britain will be Edinburgh-based -70kg fighter Sally Conway. Following a strong start to 2013, Conway currently sits 13th in the world ranking list, with victory in the Samsun Grand Prix, followed up with a bronze in the Baku Grand Slam seeing her make a steady rise up table.
Royal Marine, Chris Sherrington, completes the team, with the Scotland-based heavyweight judoka hoping to take his second IJF world tour medal of the year. Sherrington took bronze at the Samsun Grand Prix and comes into the event having secured a bronze medal at the EJU London British Open event just over a week ago.
Commenting on the event, British Judo Performance Director Nigel Donohue said: “The Masters will see our athletes facing the best judoka in the world and the rewards on offer are significant.
“These athletes have worked extremely hard and got the results which have earned them a spot at this event and now it is about maximising the opportunity.
“Only the World Championships and Olympic Games have more ranking points on offer, so a good performance in Tyumen can increase the chances of these athletes being seeded when it comes to the World Championships in Rio in the Autumn.”
McKenzie will be in action on Saturday 25th May with Conway and Sherrington taking to the tatami on Sunday 26th May.
The action will be streamed live at www.ippon.tv with British Judo providing regular updates through Twitter, Facebook and www.britishjudo.org.uk.
Action starts at 07:00 BST (12:00 local time) with the final block commencing at 13:00 BST (18:00 local time).