GB Judo will take an eight-strong team to the 2018 IBSA World Judo Championships in Odivelas, Portugal from 16 – 18 November.
The team includes five judoka with Paralympic Games experience: Natalie Greenhough (-70kg), Daniel Powell (-81kg), Chris Skelley (-100kg), Jack Hodgson (+100kg) and two-time Paralympic medallist Sam Ingram (-100kg).
Connah Anders (-66kg), Evan Molloy (-73kg) and Elliot Stewart (-90kg) will be making their IBSA World Judo Championships debuts in Odivelas.
The Championships in Odivelas is also one of the first events on the IBSA Judo calendar that goes towards qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Ingram and Skelley will both be looking to back up some impressive results over the last 12 – 18 months.
Skelley is the current IBSA European Champion and has won silver at the Tashkent and Atyrau IBSA Judo World Cups.
Ingram, who has moved up from -90kg, has shown his class at the higher weight with gold in Tashkent last year and silver at the Antayla IBSA Judo World Cup in April of this year.
Stewart, son of 1988 Olympic judo bronze medallist Dennis Stewart, has only been fighting at international VI Judo level since August 2017 but has already won bronze medals at the Tashkent and Antalya World Cups.
His brother Max is also a high-level judoka and is looking to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Powell is fighting at his first major championships since the London 2012 Paralympics. His father Terry Powell is a former two-time Paralympic medallist.
Greenhough and Hogdson have continued to medal during this cycle with bronze at the IBSA Europeans bronze and Tashkent World Cup silver to their names respectively. Both will be looking to win their first World Championships medals in Portugal though Hodgson did win silver at the IBSA World Games in 2015.
For Anders and Molloy, this event represents another opportunity to develop against the best judoka in their weights.
British Judo Performance Director Nigel Donohue said:
“As always, we’re excited to take on the best in the world at a major championships.
“The standard of visually impaired judo is improving year on year but our judoka are showing that they are of the level with some fantastic results in this cycle.
“There’s still a lot of hard work to be done ahead of Odivelas but we’re confident that if everyone performs to their best then the results will come.”
Team in full:
Natalie Greenhough - 70kg
Connah Anders - 66kg
Evan Molloy - 73kg
Daniel Powell - 81kg
Elliot Stewart - 90kg
Sam Ingram - 100kg
Chris Skelley - 100kg
Jack Hodgson + 100kg
Image Source: Mike Varey, elitepix