After last weekend’s European Championships in Budapest, a hectic schedule continues for British Judo’s stars as they head to the Baku Grand Slam, Azerbaijan.
A team of four athletes will enter the IJF World Tour event including European Championship bronze medallist Ashley McKenzie and Samsun Grand Prix winner Sally Conway, all looking to secure a place at the ‘top 16 only’ IJF Masters event in Tyumen at the end of the month.
McKenzie, 23, goes into the event after recording the best result of his career, winning an -60kg bronze medal at the European Championships in Budapest with victory over Oympic and World silver medallist and double European Champion Ludwig Paischer.
-70kg fighter Conway will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing result in Budapest. Hopes were high for the Edinburgh-based athlete after a strong victory in the last IJF World Tour event in Samsun, but Conway went behind by yuko early in her opening contest and was unable to find a way back in.
Scotland’s Louise Renicks will be representing GB at -52kg, whilst London’s Tom Davis will be fighting at -81kg.
Looking ahead to the event, British Judo Performance Director Nigel Donohue said: “The Grand Slam in Baku is the final ranking event before the Tyumen Masters and there’s a lot of ranking points on offer.
“Hopefully Ashley will be able to carry the momentum from his result at the Europeans and pick up a medal in Azerbaijan, whilst I know that Sally Conway will be looking to prove what she’s capable of following her early exit in Budapest.
“All of the athletes have an opportunity to make a jump up the world ranking list and they’ll be aiming for the top 16 placing that will book them a place at the IJF Masters at the end of the month.”
McKenzie and Renicks will be in action on Saturday 4th May with Conway and Davis taking to the tatami on Sunday 5th 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 05:30 BST (11:00 AZST) with the final block commencing at 13:00 BST (17:00 AZST).