San Salvador is another chance for players to score World Ranking points

Many athletes who competed in International Judo Federation’s (IJF) Miami Grand Prix world tour event last weekend are now gearing up for the 2013 San Salvador Pan American Continental Open this weekend in El Salvador. All are hoping to score more world ranking points and improve on their performances.

The two-day event, organised by Confederacion PanAmerica UDA, features a large portion of fighters from last weekend’s Miami Grand Slam, some of whom stayed on for a three-day training camp in Florida.

For Ashley Mckenzie, fresh from his Miami bronze win which moved him up four places in the IJF world rankings, El Salvador will be another chance to continue his success.
He is joined by fellow Grand Prix bronze medallist Natalie Powell (+78kg) who moved up three places to enter the top-16 after Miami.

But the competition, which is worth 100 points for a gold win will be even more vital for Colin Oates (-66kg), who made his comeback in Miami from a shoulder injury, is hoping that San Salvador will bring him more luck and at the same time improve his world ranking so he can get back on track for Rio.

For the current No 1 British -90kg male judoka Matthew Purssey who made it to the repecharge fight for bronze but finished fifth after Colton Brown threw him for ippon – El Salvador will be another chance to improve upon his performance. Fighting in the same weight category Andrew Burns finished a solid 7th place.

Nathon Burns, who also competed in Miami for-66kg, was on a two week run of medals and looked set to make it three weeks, three medals when he scored ippon against Santiago Gualco in the first round. He was then was knocked out of the competition in the second round against Kenneth Van Gansebeke due to one shido. He hopes to get back on track El Salvador.

Meanwhile, Ben Fletcher (-100kg) Matthew Clempner (+100kg), Graham Trinder -60kg and Patrick Dawson (-73kg) who all stayed in Florida for the training camp, will also fight again after being eliminated in earlier rounds.

Daniel Williams (-73kg) has also flown out to South America for the competition. His last major win was bronze a year ago at the European Cup in Prague.

Following a week in Miami, Kimberley Renicks who finished seventh in the Grand Prix in the -48kg and her sister Louise(-52kg) who was knocked out in the early stages are looking forward to El Salvador. Sarah Clark (-63kg) and Sarah Adlington (+78kg) who both lost out in the early stages in Miami are also looking for a better result after a week’s training at the Florida camp.

Kelly Edwards -52kg, Nekoda Davis (-57kg) Stephanie Inglis (-57kg), Jodie Mullen (-63kg), Faith Pitman (-63kg) have all flown out before the weekend for the Continental Open.

GB Women’s Lead Coach Kate Howey, said: “Like Miami, El Salvador is a self-funded event and the strong presence shows a commitment to the performance programme. We hope that this will be a chance for our players to score more points to take them up the IJF World Ranking List.”

Words by Donna Richardson.