Team Wales have selected a team of ten judoka to compete at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as judo reappears on the programme after a 12-year absence.
The seven men and three women set to take to the tatami for Team Wales include National Coach and Manchester 2002 competitor Craig Ewers and current IJF senior world ranked number 10 Natalie Powell.
Fighting in the same class as Team GB Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons, 23 year-old Natalie will be one of nine athletes set to compete at their first Commonwealth Games.
Sister of Natalie, Kirsty Powell will also be competing for Wales in the 57kg class and 19 year-old Jade Lewis from Swansea, who has recently competed in both the Junior World and European Championships, completes the team of three women.
Curtis Dodge and Kyle Davies from Swansea, Jamie MacDonald from Maesteg, Connor Ireland from Neath, Ruslan Rancev from Flintshire and Mark Shaw from Newport make up the team of ten.
The judoka will compete in the following classes:
- Kyle Davies, under 66kgs
- Jamie MacDonald, under 66kgs
- Curtis Dodge, under 73kgs
- Connor Ireland, under 73kgs
- Craig Ewers, under 81kgs
- Ruslan Rancev, under 100kgs
- Mark Shaw, over 100kgs
- Jade Lewis, under 52kgs
- Kirsty Powell, under 57kgs
- Natalie Powell, under 78kgs
Craig Ewers,who is also the National Judo Coach, said; “It’s fantastic to see judo back on the Commonwealth Games schedule, it’s been 12 years and the sport has developed a lot in that time. We have selected a really strong squad to represent Wales in Glasgow and we’re all going out there to compete to the best of our abilities and to hopefully bring medals back with us.”
Chris Jenkins, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Games Council for Wales, the organisation responsible for selecting and sending a team to compete for Wales, said: “The nature of the Commonwealth Games programme often means that a number of sports often miss out on the chance to compete. It is brilliant to see that judo is back on the schedule, giving our strong team of judoka the opportunity to do their country proud. For nine members of the team it will be their first major multi-sport competition and it will be a great experience for them all.”