Shropshire’s Commonwealth medallists Kelly Edwards and Sarah Adlington are both looking forward to the Glasgow European Open that will see judo return to the Emirates Arena, writes Donna Richardson.
The women only event takes place on Saturday 4 October 2014 and will be a chance to see Sarah and Kelly, as well as other competitors, fighting for medals in Glasgow for the first time since the Commonwealth Games.
Kelly will be fighting at -52kg while Sarah is competing in the +78kg category and both have adopted Scotland as their home as they train at Ratho and Edinburgh Judo Club.
At the Commonwealth Games, Kelly fought for England, while Sarah represented Scotland. This time they will be reunited as one team representing Great Britain against Europe’s best female judoka.
“I am looking forward to competing at the Continental Open in Tallin followed by the Glasgow European Open,” said Kelly, who hails originally from Telford and is a proud product of Wrekin Star Judo club.
“I broke a bone in my foot the week after the Commonwealth Games so these are my first tournaments since, so I’m really excited.
“I have to thank my local garage owner Allan Harkness, for providing the funding that has enabled me to go. I’m looking to reward his faith in me with a performance that gains me some Olympic qualifying points”
Sarah, originally from Shrewsbury, added: “The crowd at Glasgow were amazing so I am hoping to return there and I am hoping that Glaswegians and the people from back home will be able to support me on the day. Why not buy a ticket and come along?”
The girls are among four 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games champions fighting at the event as well as four silver and three bronze medallists, all from Great Britain.
Competing against the strong British team will be players from around the globe including European, World and Olympic medalists.
All in all there will be around 17 nations competing in the hope of taking medals and gaining valuable world ranking points ahead of Rio 2016.
Telford progidy and Team Bath player Gemma Howell will also be competing at the event. She recently returned from injury and won a medal at the Croatian Grand Prix. The European Open Judo is a partnership between Glasgow Life, British Judo, Judo Scotland and Event Scotland.
The event will also be hosting ‘come and try judo’ sessions for beginners, a master class for current members and meet the team sessions, allowing much greater access to the players.
The master class session is new for this year and will help to inspire the younger generation to pursue the sport and follow in the medallists’ footsteps.
Many of the male 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games medallists will also be in attendance throughout the day.
Fancy a trip to Scotland? There are still tickets available.
For more information visit glasgowopenjudo.com.
Photos by Mike Varey elitepix.