Team England announce Commonwealth Games judo squad Back
May 13, 2014Date 11 am 13th May 2014
Team England today named the 14 judoka who will represent them at Glasgow 2014. Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons, right, is one of a squad of 14 who will all be making their Commonwealth Games debuts as the sport returns to the Games for the first time since 2002.
Jodie Myers is the youngest member of the squad aged just 19, a talented basketball player who has played at national level, has recently won a host of U21 European Cup medals. She is joined by another athlete based full-time at the British Judo Centre of Excellence, Nekoda Davis, who represents England at U57KG having stepped up recently to compete in both the senior World and European Championships.
Colin Oates is the oldest squad member at 30, who comes into the event on impressive form having won gold at the Baku Grand Slam, the first GB athlete to do so since 2009. He also placed an impressive 7th in his first Olympics in London.
Oates and Gibbons are joined by two further London 2012 Olympians with 2013 European bronze medallist Ashley McKenzie competing at U60KG and Kelly Edwards who steps up a weight category to U52KG after representing Great Britain at U48KG during the Games.
Other International Judo Federation (IJF) World Tour gold medallists, Faith Pitman (U63KG) and Tom Reed (U81KG), will be representing England having taken victory in Rijeka Grand Prix in Croatia and the Miami Grand Prix earlier last year.
Siblings Benjamin and Megan Fletcher will both be donning the red and white of Team England, with the Bath based pair competing in the U100KG and U70KG categories respectively. They’ll also be joined by fellow Bath athlete Jan Gosiewski at U73KG.
Caroline Kinnane U78KG, Owen Livesey U81KG and Gary Hall U90KG all come into Glasgow on strong form having claimed gold and silver medals respectively in the Pan-American Openevents in South America in March of this year.
Team England's judoka are announced off the back of a hugely successful weekend, giving
them confidence on the final preparations for Glasgow. Colin Oates enjoyed international
success with World Tour Grand Slam gold, whilst there were European Cup gold medals for
Ben Fletcher, Kelly Edwards and Nekoda Davis. Owen Livesey, Gary Hall and Megan Fletcher
Gemma Gibbons said: "Competing in front of a home crowd in London at the Olympic
Games was the best sporting experience of my life. Two years on and the 2014 Glasgow
Commonwealth Games are just around the corner. "As an English woman living in Scotland, married to a Scot, who will be competing for Team Scotland on the same day that I compete I can't wait to step out onto that mat at what I am sure will feel like another home games.”
Team England Chef de Mission Jan Paterson said: "I am delighted to welcome such a
talented squad to Team England. It is very unusual to have an entire squad of debutants, but
this is the first time Judo has been in the Games since Manchester 2002. "We have a number of Olympians in the squad, including London 2012 silver medallist Gemma Gibbons and English judo has an incredible record at the Commonwealth Games topping the medal table every time they’ve performed. We’ll be up against some tough competition in Glasgow but we will see some high quality performances from this squad.”
Nekoda Davis said: "Being selected for the Commonwealth Games is such a big deal, I still
can not get my head around it all. I think the closer it comes to the big day the more nervous
but excited I will be. It will undoubtedly be one of the best experiences of my life and I can't
wait for the experience.
"Representing England on Great British soil will only fuel my desire to win the games. I know
the group cohesion will be great and I will meet a whole new bunch of talented athletes from
different sports. Mo Farah is one of my sporting hero's and to be able to potentially compete at
the same competition is crazy. I have always dealt with the pressure of a home event well so I
hope this will be somewhat be the same and I can bring a gold medal back.”
Ben Fletcher said: "I am very excited to be selected for the Commonwealth Games, it should
be a great experience and I’m really looking forward to competing and hopefully winning a
Megan Fletcher said: "I am really excited about being selected to compete at the Games. It
is my first Commonwealth Games and I can't wait to compete! I want to win a medal, and I
am hoping it will be gold.”
Jan Gosiewski said: "I am thrilled to be selected, especially that I have missed out a large
portion of the qualification period due to a knee injury I sustained on my way to defending my
British title at the end of last year. "I loved the buzz of large international multi-sport events I’ve competed at previously, but I'm looking forward to this one in particular as the rivalry between the Commonwealth nations is special. We are England, We are strong, bring it on! It would be great to see the fans getbehind us, even those who have never even heard about Judo.”
Gary Hall said: I'm very happy to be representing England in the Commonwealth Games. My
training is going very well and I will continue to train hard through the preparation period. I
have a lot of encouragement from my family and support from my employer I feel confident in
bringing home a medal.”
Commonwealth Games! A few months ago I wouldn't have said it would happen, just shows
what hard work determination mixed with the right support can do! In Glasgow my aim is to
be on top of the medal rostrum!”
Ashley McKenzie said: "I am so happy to have been chosen to represent England at this
years Commonwealth Games. The fact that the tournament is being held on home soil will
make the atmosphere even better. I am always honoured to represent my country but when
I was growing up, the Commonwealth Games was something I always watched on TV and
aspired to be a part of so it's going to feel extra special. "It's also rare that my family and friends are able to watch me compete so it's great that they can travel up to Glasgow and see me in action on the day. I really hope that I can medal and make everyone proud especially my coach as together we've worked really hard since I returned from injury to ensure I have been consistent and achieved good results in all my fights so far this year.”
Colin Oates said: "I'm excited to be selected for my second games in two years. It was great
fighting in London for the Olympics and the experience of fighting in another games so close
to home is going to be amazing. The atmosphere in London was phenomenal. If Glasgow even
half matches that then it will be an outstanding event. "The best part is that I get to fight for England in what is a rare occasion and taking a medal for the country in which I was born would be a fantastic achievement and something I would be extremely proud of.”
Judo Team Leader Matt Divall said: "I am delighted and honoured to be involved in the Commonwealth Games and feel we have selected a strong judo team to represent Team
England in Glasgow. "Judo isn’t represented in every Commonwealth Games, but when it has been England has a proud tradition of doing well and I look forward to these athletes continuing that in Glasgow. The team is a mix of youth and experience with some players having previously competed at Olympic Games and other multi-sport experience, but with all of the team making their Commonwealth Games debuts. I’m really looking forward to the competition and the whole Games experience”.
Name Event Training Base Born/lived
Ashley McKenzie U60 KG Camberley Queens Park
Colin Oates U66 KG Thetford North Lopham
Jan Gosiewski U73 KG Bath Hounslow / Poland
Owen Livesey U81 KG Camberley St Helen’s
Thomas Reed U81 KG Bath Devizes
Gary Hall U90 KG Bath Bristol
Benjamin Fletcher U100 KG Bath Wokingham
Kelly Edwards U52 KG Edinburgh Telford
Nekoda Smythe-Davis U57 KG Walsall Acton, London
Faith Pitman U63 KG West Essex Todmorden
Megan Fletcher U70 KG Bath Wokingham
Caroline Kinnane U78 KG Walsall / Aylesbury Winslow, Bucks
Gemma Gibbons U78 KG Greenwich Edinburgh
Jodie Myers O78 KG SKK Moreton, Wirral
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