Next stop Abu Dhabi for GB team

The next stop for the International Judo Federation World Tour will be the United Arab Emirates (UAE), writes Donna Richardson.

Great Britain has fielded a strong team of Olympians and Commonwealth medallists at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, taking place between Friday 31 October and Sunday 2 November.

The tournament carries 500 world ranking points for a gold medal; 300 for a silver and 200 for bronze. There are also attractive points for placings and these points will help players climb the world ranking list and ultimately position themselves with a good chance of qualifying for Rio in 2016.

Natalie Powell (-78kg), who won silver medals at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix events in 2012 and 2013, is looking to add a third silver at this year’s event in the same country which this time happens to be a Grand Slam. A gold would surpass her best result to date in Astana a few weeks back.

Natalie said: “I am really looking forward to competing in Abu Dhabi. This is the first time it’s been a Grand Slam so there’s more points on offer. I’ve had a good couple of results in my last competitions, so I am hoping to keep the momentum going.”

Astana bronze medallist Nekoda Davis (-57kg) is also looking to follow up her recent heroics in Kazakhstan.

Sally Conway, Megan Fletcher (both -70kg), Sarah Adlington (+78kg), Ashley McKenzie (-60kg) and Colin Oates (-66kg) will all be looking to secure world ranking points to set them on the path to Rio. 

Self-funding at the competition are Louise Renicks (-52kg), Stephanie Inglis (-52kg), Jodie Mullen (-63kg), Nathon Burns (-66kg), Owen Livesey (-81kg) and Gary Hall (-90kg).

Interim lead men’s coach for Great Britain Jean-Paul Bell and GB lead women’s coach Kate Howey (MBE) will be leading the team into battle.

Jean Paul-Bell said: “The GB team are looking forward to the UAE Grand Slam and they took part in a light session ahead of the tournament in the arena. The team fielded is a strong blend of experience and youth and they are up for the event and the Olympic qualification points on offer.”


Vital Statistics

Friday 31 October sees a busy mat with six British fighters in action:  Ashley McKenzie (-60kg), Colin Oates (-66kg), Nathon Burns (-66kg) Louise Renicks (-52kg), Nekoda Davis (-57kg) and Stephanie Inglis (-57kg).

On Saturday 1 November: Sally Conway and Megan Fletcher (-70kg), Owen Livesey (-81kg) plus Jodie Mullen will fly the flag for Great Britain.

On Sunday 2 November Natalie Powell (-78kg) and Sarah Adlington (+78kg) will both take to the mat along with Gary Hall (-90kg).

Follow all the action live at 

Action begins at 7am GMT, 11am UAE (+4 hours)

Images by Mike Varey.