British team for 2016 Glasgow European Judo Open announced
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British team for 2016 Glasgow European Judo Open announced

Fifty British judoka will be stepping on the mat at the 2016 Glasgow European Open on Saturday 15th October at the Emirates Arena.

In the first world-ranking event on British soil after the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, British fans will have the opportunity to see some of the rising stars of British Judo as they take their first steps on the road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

With the majority of the team at 23 years of age and under, it will be a team full of potential and for many it will be the biggest competition they will have ever competed in.

Among those selected is Stuart McWatt who won a memorable bronze medal in the -81kgs in Glasgow last year.

The Garioch Judo Club product, who is now based at the British Judo Centre of Excellence, is looking forward to competing in front of a passionate home crowd.

“I have really good memories of competing in Glasgow so I’m looking forward to fighting in front of a home crowd. We don’t often get to compete in front of a home crowd when we’re on the international circuit so it makes a nice change.

“Having that support last year made a big difference so it will be great to have a big, loud, passionate, home crowd rocking the Emirates Arena on 15th October.”

Joining McWatt on the mat are a number of British Judo’s top young female judoka including 2014 Junior World Medallists Ebony Drysdale-Daley and Jemima Yeats-Brown (both -70kg) and 2015 Junior European Champion Lucy Renshall (-63kg).

On the men’s side Phil Awiti-Alcaraz (-100kg) will be returning to Glasgow, where he won silver last year, as a Grand Prix medallist after his bronze at the Budapest Grand Prix in June. Meanwhile Scottish duo David Ferguson (-60kg) and Del Imrie (-90kg) will be stepping on the mat having won bronze at the Taipei Asian Open earlier this year.

Nigel Donohue, British Judo Performance Director, said:

“We’re looking forward to being back at the Emirates Arena for the fourth year in a row. The European Open is always a memorable event and we know our judoka look forward to fighting in front of a home crowd.

“For us Glasgow is not one of the last events of 2016 but one of the first on the road to Tokyo 2020. We’ve got an exciting, young British team selected, many of whom will have never competed in front of such a large crowd at home or away and we hope they use this event as a springboard for the next four years with an eye on the start of the Tokyo qualifying period in 2018.”

Councillor Archie Graham OBE, Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “With just over a month to go until the European Judo Open takes place in Glasgow, the city is gearing up to welcome the spectators and participants to the Emirates Arena.

“In particular, we can’t wait to cheer on the British Judo team. It’ll be really special to see so many of our young athletes competing in this championship, starting their journey to Tokyo 2020.

“The competition is set to be incredible, and judo fans won’t want to miss the chance to see some of their favourite judoka in action – so make sure you snap up your tickets for this fantastic event.”

Ronnie Saez – JudoScotland Chairman:

“We are looking forward to welcoming back the European Judo Open to Glasgow in this its final year and I am convinced that it will provide the ideal platform for our younger, aspiring Scottish Judoka to launch their Tokyo 2020 Olympic aspirations.

“Over the past four years Glasgow has been able to showcase to the European and World Judo community the very best of Scotland, through our athletes, spectators, volunteers and unrivalled Scottish hospitality. We are immensely grateful for this opportunity.”

Tickets are available from as little as £2.50 and all tickets grant you access to both sessions of judo. 
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