A nine strong British team will be looking to follow in the footsteps of previous GB gold medallists at the 2016 Under-23 European Judo Championships in Tel Aviv, Israel on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 November.
Craig Fallon (2004), Ashley McKenzie (2010) and Amy Livesey (2015) have all topped the medal rostrum at previous Under-23 Europeans and this year’s team will have the opportunity to join that select group.
On Friday 11 Kelly Staddon (-48kg) will be competing for the first time at international level since the Podcetrtek Senior European Cup in June and she will start her day against Marianne Kosonen (FIN). Chelsie Giles (-52kg) has gained senior experience this year including seventh at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and fifth at the Glasgow European Open last month. She will take on Italy’s Francesca Giorda in the first round with a potential contest against Tina Topolovec (CRO) in the last 16.
At -57kg Acelya Toprak has enjoyed a good 2016 with some impressive performances in her first year at Junior level, including fifth at the Junior European Championships in Malaga. Ebba Glaas (SWE) will be her opponent in the first round with a quarter-final spot at stake for the winner.
Lucy Renshall won the Junior European title in 2015 and having seen her fellow SKK judoka Amy Livesey win the Under-23 title last year she will be hoping to match that result. There are some strong competitors at -63kg this year with Angeles Lopez Aguilera (ESP) first up for the British judoka.
Sam Hall (-66kg) is the sole male judoka in the British team and his weight category will be one to watch. Bulgaria’s Bozhidar Temelkov will be his first opponent. If he wins that contest, then current Junior European Champion Dzmitry Binkou (BLR) or Junior European bronze medallist Nils Stump (SUI) will be next up.
On Sunday 12 there are a couple of GB fighters at both -70kg and +78kg. Jemima Yeats-Brown has a bye into the second round where she’ll face either Sandra Lickun (POL) or Sophie Berger (BEL). The dynamic judoka goes in on the back of a bronze medal at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and gold at the Glasgow European Open. Ebony Drysdale-Daley will also have a bye in Tel Aviv and will take on Bar Farin (ISR) or Evelien Bernsden (NED) in her first contest.
Former Junior European champion Jodie Myers faces Tina Radic (CRO) having won bronze in her last competition, the Glasgow European Open. Michelle Boyle will also be looking to make her mark with Anna Zaleczna (POL) her challenge in the first round.
The competition starts at 0900 local time on Friday 11 and 1000 on Saturday 12 with live coverage via EJU.net and the British Judo live blog