A nineteen-strong British team has been selected to compete in the Moscow Grand Slam, Russia from 3rd-4th July 2010.
The tournament in the Russian capital is one of only four Grand Slams on the International Judo Federation’s calendar, joining Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo, and will see fighters from across the World competing for valuable Olympic qualification points.
GB made a tentative start to the season with two 5th places at the Paris Grand Slam. At the time, Performance Director Margaret Hicks said, “Our players are just at the start of the transitional period and we recognise we still have a lot more work to do with the players to make the necessary improvements for medals at this level.”
After picking up two medals at the European Championships in April, GB looks to be in a much better position going into their second Grand Slam of the year, but Hicks says the key focus is the World Championships later this year.
“We are still in the process of confirming which players are likely to be in the frame for selection and a place in the 2010 World Championship team. With the IJF now permitting two players per weight at the Worlds, this presents an excellent chance for us to assess players over the next three weeks. In some weight categories the situation is now very interesting.”
Most of the squad are already out in Russia for the start of the intensive three-week training period, which will see some of them compete in the Orenburg European Cup this weekend.
“We are still trying to identify and confirm our core players ahead of the Olympic phase, which will start early next year. As we know, the nature of our sport is that some players may only start performing and connecting at the elite level later on in the Olympic cycle, but we can use this event to make some more evaluations.
“The quality of training our players will get in Russia will help towards preparing players for our major objective this year – the World Championships in September. As we are still in the transitional phase of the Olympic cycle, we will be looking for improved performances in order to establish a sound platform ahead of the Worlds,” Hicks added.
Britain’s two European medallistsat the 2010 Championships Euan Burton (-81kg) and Karina Bryant (+78kg) have been selected to compete in their respective weight categories.
Burton excelled during a Japan tour at the end of 2009, winning a gold medal in the Tokyo Grand Slam and also won a silver medal at the Dusseldorf Grand Prix at the start of this year, making him a prominent 4 th in the World according to the IJF Ranking List.
Bryant earned a 5th place at the 2010 Paris Grand Slam, alongside Matthew Purssey who has also been selected to compete in the -90kg competition.
Making their British debut at a Grand Slam will be Kelly Edwards (-48kg), Gemma Howell (-57kg), Daniel Williams (-73kg), James Austin (-100kg) and Chris Sherrington (+100kg).
British Judo’s Head Coach, Patrick Roux will decide on the second player to compete in the -60kg and -90kg weight categories closer to the event.
Full Team Lineup
|-48kg||Kelly Edwards||Wrekin Star Judo Club|
|-57kg/-63kg||Gemma Howell||Wolverhampton Judo Club|
|-63kg||Faith Pitman||West Essex Judo Club|
|-63kg||Sarah Clark||Edinburgh Judo Club, Ratho|
|-70kg||Gemma Gibbons||Metro Judo Club|
|-70kg||Sally Conway||Edinburgh Judo Club, Ratho|
|+78kg||Sarah Adlington||Edinburgh Judo Club, Ratho|
|+78kg||Karina Bryant||Camberley Judo Club|
|-66kg||Colin Oates||Kumo Judo Club|
|-73kg||Danny Williams||Wolverhampton/ Camberley Judo Club|
|-81kg||Euan Burton||Edinburgh Judo Club, Ratho|
|-81kg||Tom Reed||Bath/Devizes Judo Club|
|-90kg||Matthew Purssey||Edinburgh Judo Club, Ratho|
|-100kg||James Austin||Hardy Spicer 83 Judo Club|
|+100kg||Chris Sherrington||Commando Kwai/Edinburgh|
Published by, BritishJudo.org.uk