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Lucy Renshall selected in team GB Olympic team

Lucy Renshall selected in team GB Olympic team

5 Jul 2021 23:10
British Judo and JudoInside

The British Olympic Association has confirmed the name of Lucy Renshall among a selection of six fighters who will represent Team GB in judo at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games.

Lucy Renshall had the most challenging qualification of the six after defeating three fighters all vying for the one -63kg qualification spot at the start of the year. Renshall secured her qualification with a gold medal at the Antalya Grand Slam following a fifth-place finish at the Tbilisi Grand Slam and will travel to Tokyo as an Olympic debutant. She competed with Amy Livesey in the Olympic qualification.

The only men in the team is Commonwealth Champion and two-time European Championship bronze medallist Ashley McKenzie. McKenzie competes at his third Olympic Games having made his debut in London. McKenzie will fight in the U60kg category.

Chelsie Giles will make her Olympic debut in Tokyo and heads to the home of judo in stunning form, having topped the podium U52kg at the Tel Aviv Grand Slam before winning silver at the Tbilisi Grand Slam. Giles travels to Tokyo seeded eighth, meaning she will not face another seeded fighter until the quarter final stage, at the earliest.

Gemma Howell will compete in the U70kg category at her second Olympic Games. Paris Grand Slam bronze medallist, Howell, made her Olympic debut in 2012 and has overcome multiple injuries to secure her qualification to Tokyo. Sally Conway was ranked higher but she retired in February.

Wales’ Natalie Powell competes at her second Olympic Games, having made her debut finishing seventh in Rio. Powell is a Commonwealth Champion, 3x European Championship bronze medallist and a World Championship bronze medallist. Powell will head to Tokyo seeded fifth following some impressive performances that saw her win gold at the 2020 Tel Aviv Grand Prix and silver at the 2019 Brasilia Grand Slam.

Commonwealth Games champion Sarah Adlington is the most experienced member of the British squad having made her British Judo senior debut back in 2008 at the European Championships in Lisbon. However, this will be her first Olympic Games after she qualified through the ‘Continental quota’.

Nigel Donohue’s selection

British Judo Performance Director and Judo Team Leader for Tokyo, Nigel Donohue can’t wait to see judo return to its spiritual home and for the experience that the Games will bring to the British athletes, commenting:

“It is a fantastic achievement to qualify and gain selection for what will be an historical and iconic Olympic Games for Judo that is in the Budokan Hall where Judo made its debut at the 1964 Olympic Games. McKenzie will be competing in this third consecutive Olympic Games, Powell and Howell will compete in their second Games and Giles, Renshall and Adlington will debut in their first Olympic Games, who all go to Tokyo with some extraordinary results in the cycle that sealed their qualification and selection.

“There is no doubt that this has been a challenging qualification period in many different ways both on and off the mat, but a challenge that our team have managed extremely well where we have seen some outstanding performances when we returned back to competition this year following the enforced break due to the World pandemic.

“As we head into Tokyo, we have a team who have a track record of medalling at key events in the cycle or have produced some world class performances on the road to Tokyo, which gives extreme confidence in knowing that we have a group of fighters who can compete and perform against the best in the world at this level. It’s a privilege to be representing Team GB and believe these Games will be exciting, unpredictable and an opportunity to showcase to the world that we are ready for Tokyo 2020.”

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